Measuring life-cycle transitions in young adulthood : a cross-validation of data from three prospective surveys
Coordinated use of several longitudinal microdatasets can enrich scientific findings and strengthen their validity through replication. This Note focuses on three such datasets used in several interrelated studies conducted within RAND's Labor and Population Program: (1) the Parnes Young Men and Women Panels, (2) the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, and (3) the National Longitudinal Study of the High School Class of 1972. The author considers how four measures of life-cycle progress compare across all three datasets: first marriage, departure from the parental home, school enrollment, and military service. Results are reported here for the benefit of other researchers who may contemplate making coordinated use of these datasets or others similar to them.