IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Displacing the Family: Union Army Pensions and Elderly Living Arrangements


  • Costa, Dora L


The author investigates the factors that fostered the rise in separate living quarters for the aged prior to Social Security by estimating the income effect of the first major pension program in the United States, that covering Union Army veterans. She finds that income substantially increased demand for separate living arrangements, suggesting that prior to 1940 rising incomes were the most important factor enabling the elderly to live alone. Comparisons with recent studies imply that income no longer plays as large a role, perhaps because income levels are now higher and independent living is both less expensive and more attractive. Copyright 1997 by the University of Chicago.

Suggested Citation

  • Costa, Dora L, 1997. "Displacing the Family: Union Army Pensions and Elderly Living Arrangements," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1269-1292, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:105:y:1997:i:6:p:1269-92

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: full text
    Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Costa Dora L., 1993. "Height, Weight, Wartime Stress, and Older Age Mortality: Evidence from the Union Army Records," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 424-449, October.
    2. Dora L. Costa, 1995. "Pensions and Retirement: Evidence from Union Army Veterans," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(2), pages 297-319.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • N31 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:105:y:1997:i:6:p:1269-92. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Journals Division). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.