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Growing Parental Economic Power in Parent–Adult Child Households: Coresidence and Financial Dependency in the United States, 1960–2010

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  • Joan Kahn

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  • Frances Goldscheider
  • Javier García-Manglano

Abstract

Research on coresidence between parents and their adult children in the United States has challenged the myth that elders are the primary beneficiaries, instead showing that intergenerationally extended households generally benefit the younger generation more than their parents. Nevertheless, the economic fortunes of those at the older and younger ends of the adult life course have shifted in the second half of the twentieth century, with increasing financial well-being among older adults and greater financial strain among younger adults. This article uses U.S. census and American Community Survey (ACS) data to examine the extent to which changes in generational financial well-being over the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries have been reflected in the likelihood of coresidence and financial dependency in parent–adult child U.S. households between 1960 and 2010. We find that younger adults have become more financially dependent on their parents and that while older adults have become more financially independent of their adult children, they nevertheless coreside with their needy adult children. We also find that the effect of economic considerations in decisions about coresidence became increasingly salient for younger adults, but decreasingly so for older adults. Copyright Population Association of America 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Joan Kahn & Frances Goldscheider & Javier García-Manglano, 2013. "Growing Parental Economic Power in Parent–Adult Child Households: Coresidence and Financial Dependency in the United States, 1960–2010," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(4), pages 1449-1475, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:demogr:v:50:y:2013:i:4:p:1449-1475 DOI: 10.1007/s13524-013-0196-2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Frances Kobrin, 1976. "The fall in household size and the rise of the primary individual in the United States," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 13(1), pages 127-138, February.
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    3. Kathleen Mcgarry & Robert Schoeni, 2000. "Social security, economic growth, and the rise in elderly widows’ independence in the twentieth century," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 37(2), pages 221-236, May.
    4. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier & Nahid Tabatabai, 2010. "What the Stock Market Decline Means for the Financial Security and Retirement Choices of the Near-Retirement Population," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(1), pages 161-182, Winter.
    5. Costa, Dora L., 1999. "A house of her own: old age assistance and the living arrangements of older nonmarried women," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 39-59.
    6. Fred Pampel, 1983. "Changes in the propensity to live alone: Evidence from consecutive cross-sectional surveys, 1960–1976," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 20(4), pages 433-447, November.
    7. Lawrence Santi, 1990. "Household Headship Among Unmarried Persons in the United States, 1970–1985," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 27(2), pages 219-232, May.
    8. Frances Goldscheider & Julie DaVanzo, 1989. "Pathways to Independent Living in Early Adulthood: Marriage, Semiautonomy, and Premarital Residential Independence," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 26(4), pages 597-614, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Javier García-Manglano, 2015. "Opting Out and Leaning In: The Life Course Employment Profiles of Early Baby Boom Women in the United States," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 52(6), pages 1961-1993, December.
    2. William H. Rogers & Anne E. Winkler, 2014. "How Did the Housing and Labor Market Crises Affect Young Adults' Living Arrangements?," Working Papers 1005, University of Missouri-St. Louis, Department of Economics.
    3. Courtin, Emilie & Avendano, Mauricio, 2016. "Under one roof: The effect of co-residing with adult children on depression in later life," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 168(C), pages 140-149.
    4. Rogers, William H. & Winkler, Anne E., 2014. "How Did the Housing and Labor Market Crises Affect Young Adults' Living Arrangements?," IZA Discussion Papers 8568, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. repec:dem:demres:v:38:y:2018:i:7 is not listed on IDEAS

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