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Do higher rents discourage fertility? Evidence from U.S. cities, 1940-2000

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  • Simon, Curtis J.
  • Tamura, Robert

Abstract

This paper documents the existence of a negative cross-sectional correlation between the price of living space as measured by rent per room and fertility using U.S. Census data over the period 1940-2000, the effect strengthening from 1940 to 1970 and weakening thereafter. The negative correlation does not merely reflect the tendency of larger families to locate within less-expensive areas of a given metropolitan area. Our study focuses on younger households, but analysis of completed fertility among older households reinforces the findings for younger households. Estimates for 36 CMSAs using the American Housing Survey, which permit us to construct persquare-foot measures of the price of living space, indicate that our findings are not merely an artifact of larger families occupying houses with more rooms. Durbin-Wu-Hausman tests reveal little evidence of endogeneity bias.

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  • Simon, Curtis J. & Tamura, Robert, 2009. "Do higher rents discourage fertility? Evidence from U.S. cities, 1940-2000," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 33-42, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:regeco:v:39:y:2009:i:1:p:33-42
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    Cited by:

    1. Dettling, Lisa J. & Kearney, Melissa S., 2014. "House prices and birth rates: The impact of the real estate market on the decision to have a baby," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 82-100.
    2. Klaus Desmet & Stephen Parente, 2012. "The evolution of markets and the revolution of industry: a unified theory of growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 205-234, September.
    3. Tamura, Robert & Simon, Curtis, 2017. "Secular Fertility Declines, Baby Booms, And Economic Growth: International Evidence," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 21(07), pages 1601-1672, October.
    4. Hiroshi Aiura & Yasuhiro Sato, 2014. "A model of urban demography," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 47(3), pages 981-1009, August.
    5. Day, Creina & Guest, Ross, 2016. "Fertility and female wages: A new link via house prices," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 121-132.
    6. Tamura, Robert & Simon, Curtis & Murphy, Kevin M., 2012. "Black and White Fertility, Differential Baby Booms: The Value of Civil Rights," MPRA Paper 40921, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Kevin M. Murphy & Curtis J. Simon & Robert Tamura, 2011. "Black and White Fertility, Differential Baby Booms: The Value of Civil Rights (Equal Opportunity for Education)," 2011 Meeting Papers 238, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. Dan A. Black & Natalia Kolesnikova & Seth G. Sanders & Lowell J. Taylor, 2013. "Are Children “Normal”?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(1), pages 21-33, March.
    9. William A.V. Clark, 2012. "Do women delay family formation in expensive housing markets?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 27(1), pages 1-24, July.
    10. Bo Malmberg, 2012. "Fertility Cycles, Age Structure and Housing Demand," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 59(5), pages 467-482, November.
    11. Kevin M. Murphy & Curtis Simon & Robert Tamura, 2008. "Fertility Decline, Baby Boom, and Economic Growth," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(3), pages 262-302.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fertility Housing prices Living arrangements;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand

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