Casualty of the recession: attitudes of young adults

Here is a sober finding about the economic recession: It is likely to affect the attitudes of young adults in a negative way. According to researchers at UCLA and the National Bureau of Labor Statistics, people who have their formative years (18 through 25) during times of economic recession are likely to think success in life depends more on luck than on effort, support more government redistribution, but are less confident in public institutions. Moreover, they found that recessions have a long-lasting effect on individuals' beliefs.

In other words, these are the kinds of attitudes you are likely to run into among the college students, and of course engineers, now in school.

The researchers came to their conclusions based on data gathered from the General Social Survey which conducts basic scientific research on the structure and development of American society with a data-collection program designed to monitor social changes within the United States.

One other interesting finding: Being exposed to a recession before the age of 17 or after age 25 has no impact on beliefs.

The full report is here:

http://ftp.iza.org/dp4365.pdf

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Lee Teschler

Leland serves as Editor-in-Chief of Machine Design. He has 34 years of Service and holds a B.S. Engineering from the University of Michigan, a B.S. Electrical Engineering from the University of...
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