A new Pew study finds Millennial household incomes are higher today than they have been for every other comparable generation, except in the year 2000.
Using the Pew data, Ernie Tedeschi finds Millennial household incomes today are comparable to past generations after adjusting for education. But such comparisons assume education is as productivity-enhancing today as it was in the past when America educated fewer people at the margin. Bryan Caplan, for example, claims education does not increase productivity significantly at the margin, which would render Tedeschi’s adjustments unnecessary.
However, a recent Federal Reserve study finds Millennial male household heads earned 10% less than comparably aged Boomers in 2014, although the economy has rebounded somewhat since then.
These historical comparisons demand pushes and pulls. For example, fewer Millennials head households than prior generations, an increasing share of women work and head households, and demographics have shifted, largely from low-skilled Hispanic immigration.
Based on these studies, Millennial incomes appear to be comparable to prior generations.