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The Dynamics of Housing Demand by the Elderly: Wealth, Cash Flow, and Demographic Effects

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  • Jonathan Feinstein
  • Daniel McFadden

Abstract

Using Waves one through fifteen of the PSID data set, we investigate the pattern of housing mobility amongst the elderly. We focus especially on two issues: (1) Determining which household characteristics tend to increase the probability of a move; and (2) Whether elderly households systematically move to smaller, less expensive dwellings when they do move, and, if so, which characteristics make such "downsizing" particularly likely. We find that wealthier households are less likely to move and to downsize, and that changes in family composition or retirement status significantly increase the likelihood of a move. We do not find much evidence of imperfections in the housing market, or of pervasive liquidity constraints. Finally, we develop a Lagrange Multiplier test for unobserved heterogeneity amongst elderly households, and strongly reject the null hypothesis of homogeneity.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2471.

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Date of creation: Dec 1987
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Publication status: published as The Economics of Aging, Ed. by David Wise, University of Chicago Press, March 1989.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2471

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  1. Artle, Roland & Varaiya, Pravin, 1978. "Life cycle consumption and homeownership," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 38-58, June.
  2. Breusch, T.S. & Pagan, A.R., . "The Lagrange multiplier test and its applications to model specification in econometrics," CORE Discussion Papers RP -412, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. Chesher, Andrew D, 1984. "Testing for Neglected Heterogeneity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 865-72, July.
  4. Lee, Lung-Fei & Chesher, Andrew, 1986. "Specification testing when score test statistics are identically zero," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 121-149, March.
  5. Henderson, J. Vernon & Ioannides, Yannis M., 1989. "Dynamic aspects of consumer decisions in housing markets," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 212-230, September.
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