Early maturity and young adult labor market outcomes


Holmes, Chanita; Tracey, Marlon; & Belasen, Ariel (2018). Early maturity and young adult labor market outcomes. 2018 Add Health Users Conference. Bethesda, MD.


The literature is divided on the impact of the timing of maturity for adolescents on their adult-stage socioeconomic outcomes. Early maturing males are generally shown to have better outcomes than their later maturing peers, but no such differential exists for females. We add to the existing literature by utilizing an externally validated measure of maturity for a group of high school students from the wave 1-3 Add Health in-home data. Using Heckman selection-type techniques, results indicate that early maturing males have higher average earnings than their peers. And while we ultimately do not find an earnings differential for females we do find that early maturing females are more likely to enter the job market earlier than their peers. We also identify channels through which maturity affect earnings and find that it conveys non-cognitive skills for males that are especially rewarded by employers.

Reference Type

Conference proceeding

Book Title

2018 Add Health Users Conference


Holmes, Chanita
Tracey, Marlon
Belasen, Ariel

Year Published


City of Publication

Bethesda, MD

Reference ID