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Proximity and Coresidence of Adult Children and their Parents in the United States : Description and Correlates

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  • Janice Compton
  • Robert A. Pollak

Abstract

In this paper we provide an overview of the patterns of intergenerational proximity and co-residence of adult children and their mothers in the U.S., using data from the National Survey of Families and Households (NSFH) and the U.S. Census. We highlight the importance of three specification and sample choices in the analysis. First, most previous studies consider co-residence to be the limiting case of proximity, using Tobit, ordered Logit, or ordered Probit specifications. We argue that proximity and co-residence are qualitatively different, and show that the multinomial logit provides a better representation of the patterns in the data. Second, we argue that substantial differences in the correlates of proximity by gender and marital status indicate the importance of modeling these categories separately. Third, the NSFH allows us to consider the proximity of couples to both his mother and her mother. This information is rarely available in survey data but is important for complete analyses. Our results show that education and age are the most robust predictors of proximity: college graduates are less likely to live near their mothers and older children live further from their mothers. Other demographic variables such as race, ethnicity and only child status also affect the probability of close proximity and co-residence. However, characteristics indicating adult children's current need for transfers (e.g. grandchildren) are not correlated with either close proximity or co-residence, while characteristics indicating mothers' current needs for transfers (e.g., disability) are correlated with co-residence but not close proximity.

Suggested Citation

  • Janice Compton & Robert A. Pollak, 2015. "Proximity and Coresidence of Adult Children and their Parents in the United States : Description and Correlates," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 117-118, pages 91-114.
  • Handle: RePEc:adr:anecst:y:2015:i:117-118:p:91-114
    DOI: 10.15609/annaeconstat2009.117-118.91
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    Cited by:

    1. Bettina Isengard & Ronny König & Marc Szydlik, 2018. "Money or space? Intergenerational transfers in a comparative perspective," Housing Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(2), pages 178-200, February.
    2. Jenjira J Yahirun & Connor M Sheehan & Krysia N Mossakowski & Deborah Carr, 2020. "Depression in Later Life: The Role of Adult Children’s College Education for Older Parents’ Mental Health in the United States," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 75(2), pages 389-402.
    3. Tak Chan & John Ermisch, 2015. "Proximity of Couples to Parents: Influences of Gender, Labor Market, and Family," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 52(2), pages 379-399, April.
    4. Rupert, Peter & Zanella, Giulio, 2018. "Grandchildren and their grandparents' labor supply," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 89-103.

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    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General

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