Is Leaving Home a Hardship?

44 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2013

See all articles by David Ribar

David Ribar

George Washington University - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics


Nest-leaving – the transition of young adults from their parents' homes to other living arrangements – is a major life-course milestone. Although the causes of nest-leaving have been extensively researched, only a few studies have examined the changes in young adults' own assessments of their well-being that immediately precede and follow these transitions.This study uses the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey to document the trajectories of financial hardships, food consumption, and other well-being outcomes among Australians who left their parents' homes between the ages of 18 and 25 years. The study estimates multivariate fixed-effects models that compare outcomes before and after nest-leaving transitions to mitigate the effects of confounding characteristics. Men and women report increased financial hardships in the years that they leave home and in the first few years that follow. In particular, men and women both report more frequently going without meals and needing to ask friends and family for financial help. Women additionally report more frequently missing utility and housing payments.

Keywords: youths, nest-leaving, financial hardships, nutrition

JEL Classification: J12, J13

Suggested Citation

Ribar, David C., Is Leaving Home a Hardship?. IZA Discussion Paper No. 7290, Available at SSRN:

David C. Ribar (Contact Author)

George Washington University - Department of Economics ( email )

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