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Asset Accumulation and Family Size

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  • James P. Smith

    (RAND Corporation)

  • Michael P. Ward

    (UCLA & RAND Corporation)

Abstract

Utilizing panel data on families, estimates are made of the effects of children on asset accululation, asset composition, consumption, and family income. Young children are found to depress savings for young families but to increase savings for marriages of duration greater than five years. The principal channel through which children act to reduce savings is the decline in female earnings associated with the child- induced withdrawal of wives from the labor force. Family consumption actually decreases with the birth of a child, but this reduction is insufficient, for young families, to offset the fall in income. For families in which the wife does not work the estimates suggest that savings may actually increase with children.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/lab/papers/0403/0403001.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Labor and Demography with number 0403001.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: 01 Mar 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpla:0403001

Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 18. Demography, Vol. 17, No. 3, August 1980, pp. 243-260
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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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  1. Smith, James P, 1979. "The Distribution of Family Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 163-92, October.
  2. Michael R. Darby, 1977. "The Consumer Expenditure Function," NBER Chapters, in: Explorations in Economic Research, Volume 4, number 5, pages 51-80 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Milton Friedman, 1957. "A Theory of the Consumption Function," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie57-1.
  4. Milton Friedman, 1957. "Introduction to "A Theory of the Consumption Function"," NBER Chapters, in: A Theory of the Consumption Function, pages 1-6 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. James Smith, 1989. "Children Among the Poor," Demography, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 235-248, May.
  2. Deborah A. Cobb-Clark & Vincent A. Hildebrand, 2006. "The Wealth And Asset Holdings Of U.S.-Born And Foreign-Born Households: Evidence From Sipp Data," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 52(1), pages 17-42, 03.
  3. Lucie Schmidt & Purvi Sevak, 2005. "Gender, Marriage, and Asset Accumulation in the United States," Working Papers wp109, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  4. Belton, Willie & Uwaifo Oyelere, Ruth, 2008. "The Racial Saving Gap Enigma: Unraveling the Role of Institutions," IZA Discussion Papers 3545, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. F. Thomas Juster & Joseph Lupton & James P. Smith & Frank Stafford, 2004. "Savings and Wealth; Then and Now," Labor and Demography 0403027, EconWPA.
  6. Grinstein-Weiss, Michal & Hun Yeo, Yeong & Zhan, Min & Charles, Pajarita, 2008. "Asset holding and net worth among households with children: Differences by household type," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 62-78, January.

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