Millennials are no different from their baby boomer parents — they’re just poorer

Millennials have less money to spend but they’re still spending on the same things as other generations.Files

In the court of public opinion, millennials are the most infamous serial killers.

American cheese. Credit cards. Taxis. The Thanksgiving turkey. Even divorce. This generation’s cultural killing spree has left few corners untouched.

Now there’s evidence for an appeal. A new Federal Reserve paper says the app-loving, participation-trophy-receiving cohort, defined as those born between 1981 and 1997, aren’t really different from their parents. They’re just poorer than previous generations were at this point in their lives, thanks to a large portion of the group coming of age during the financial crisis.

“We find little evidence that millennial households have tastes and preference for consumption that are lower than those of earlier generations, once the effects of age, income, and a wide range of demographic characteristics are taken into account,” wrote authors Christopher Kurz, Geng Li and Daniel J. Vine.

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