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Why Don't the Elderly Live With Their Children? A New Look

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  • Laurence J. Kotlikoff
  • John Morris

Abstract

Perhaps no single statistic raises more concern about post War changes in the U.S. family than the proportion of the elderly living alone. Since 1940 the proportion of elderly living alone and in institutions has risen dramatically. While demographics appear to explain much of the change in the living arrangements of the elderly, the rising income of the elderly is viewed by many as the chief or at least a chief reason why the elderly live alone. The analyses underlying this view have not, however, considered the incomes and preferences of the children of the elderly. This paper presents a model of the joint living arrangement choice of parents and children. It then uses a new set of data to consider how the preferences and income positions of the elderly and their children influence the living arrangements of elderly parents. The findings suggest that the preferences and income levels of children may be important factors in explaining why so many of the elderly live alone.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2734.

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Date of creation: Oct 1988
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Publication status: published as Why Don’t the Elderly Live with Their Children? A New Look , Laurence J. Kotlikoff, John N. Morris. in Issues in the Economics of Aging , Wise. 1990
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2734

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  1. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & John N. Morris, 1987. "How Much Care Do the Aged Receive from Their Children? A Bimodal Picture of Contact and Assistance," NBER Working Papers 2391, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Axel Borsch-Supan, 1987. "Household Dissolution and the Choice of Alternative Living Arrangements Among Elderly Americans," NBER Working Papers 2338, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Axel Borsch-Supan & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & John N. Morris, 1988. "The Dynamics of Living Arrangements of the Elderly," NBER Working Papers 2787, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Darius Lakdawalla & Tomas Philipson, 1999. "Aging and the Growth of Long-Term Care," Working Papers 9909, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  3. Benoit Dostie & Pierre Thomas Léger, 2004. "The Living Arrangement Dynamics of Sick, Elderly Individuals," CIRANO Working Papers 2004s-03, CIRANO.
  4. Naoko Shinkai, 2000. "How Do Social Security and Income Affect the Living Arrangements of the Elderly? Evidence from Reforms in Mexico and Uruguay," Research Department Publications 4231, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  5. Jellal, Mohamed & Wolff, Francois-Charles, 2002. "Cultural evolutionary altruism: theory and evidence," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 241-262, June.
  6. Liliana E. Pezzin & Robert A. Pollak & Barbara S. Schone, 2007. "Efficiency in Family Bargaining: Living Arrangements and Caregiving Decisions of Adult Children and Disabled Elderly Parents," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 53(1), pages 69-96, March.
  7. VanderHart, Peter G., 1998. "The Housing Decisions of Older Households: A Dynamic Analysis," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 21-48, March.
  8. Midori Wakabayashi & Charles Y. Horioka, 2006. "Is the Eldest Son Different? The Residential Choice of Siblings in Japan," NBER Working Papers 12655, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Diane Macunovich & Richard Easterlin & Christine Schaeffer & Eileen Crimmins, 1995. "Echoes of the baby boom and bust: Recent and prospective changes in living alone among elderly widows in the united states," Demography, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 17-28, February.
  10. Matteo Lippi Bruni & Cristina Ugolini, 2006. "A Note on the Choice between Formal and Informal Care for Elderly People," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 142(V), pages 85-90.
  11. Naoko Shinkai, 2000. "¿De qué manera la seguridad social y el ingreso repercuten en los arreglos de vida de los ancianos? Elementos de juicio de las reformas de México y Uruguay," Research Department Publications 4232, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  12. Hiedemann, Bridget & Stern, Steven, 1999. "Strategic play among family members when making long-term care decisions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 29-57, September.
  13. Axel Borsch-Supan, 1989. "A Dynamic Analysis of Household Dissolution and Living Arrangement Transitions by Elderly Americans," NBER Working Papers 2808, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Julie Zissimopoulos, 2001. "Resource Transfers to the Elderly: Do Adult Children Substitute Financial Transfers for Time Transfers?," Working Papers 01-05, RAND Corporation Publications Department.

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