This paper addresses the central question of transition to adulthood. It focuses on the controversy over the effect of adolescent employment on the relatively neglected fertility outcome. The paper is excel-lent in both theoretical rigor and methodological soundness. It tests two competing theories, namely opportunity cost and life course. The methodology is innovative in that two repeated cross-sectional, nationally representative data (ACS) are used to address transition to adulthood questions. Through a competent use of causal analysis techniques including instrumental variable at the individual-level analysis to address selection into employment and difference-in-differences method at the state-level analysis to address temporal order and reciprocity concerns, the findings of the paper provide solid evi-dence to support that adolescent employment speeds up transition to adulthood.
Honorable Mention 1:
Melanie T. Jones, Uiversity of Notre Dame, for "Gaining 'Respect': Negotiating Race and Class in Black Student Relations.with School Officials”
Honorable Mention 2:
Jen-Hao Chen, University of Chicago, for “Maternal Health Behaviors during Pregnancy, Birth Weight, and Early Non-Cognitive Skills