IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Families as Roommates: Changes in U.S. Household Size from 1850 to 2000

  • Alejandrina Salcedo
  • Todd Schoellman
  • Michèle Tertilt

The size of the average American household has fallen dramatically -from six in 1850 to three in 2000. To explain this decline we model households as collections of roommates who share the costs of household public goods. If private goods are more income elastic than public goods, as we document in the paper, an increase in income endogenously leads to smaller households. We calibrate the model to match data from 2000. Changing incomes to their 1850 levels, we find that our mechanism can explain 37 percent of the observed reduction in the number of adults per household and 16 percent of the reduction in the number of children.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.banxico.org.mx/publicaciones-y-discursos/publicaciones/documentos-de-investigacion/banxico/%7BEA68D592-2D2E-7169-B722-4650F0F63532%7D.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Banco de México in its series Working Papers with number 2010-07.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Jun 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bdm:wpaper:2010-07
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.banxico.org.mx

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Greenwood, Jeremy & Guner, Nezih, 2008. "Marriage and Divorce since World War II: Analyzing the Role of Technological Progress on the Formation of Households," IZA Discussion Papers 3313, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Stefania Albanesi & Claudia Olivetti, 2014. "Maternal health and the baby boom," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 5, pages 225-269, 07.
  3. Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner & John Knowles, 2002. "More on Marriage, Fertility and the Distribution of Income," RCER Working Papers 489, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  4. Edward C. Prescott, 1986. "Theory ahead of business cycle measurement," Staff Report 102, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  5. Ermisch, John & Di Salvo, Pamela, 1997. "The Economic Determinants of Young People's Household Formation," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 64(256), pages 627-44, November.
  6. Haurin Donald R. & Hendershott Patric H. & Kim Dongwook, 1994. "Housing Decisions of American Youth," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 28-45, January.
  7. Michael J. Brien & Lee A. Lillard & Steven Stern, 2006. "Cohabitation, Marriage, And Divorce In A Model Of Match Quality," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(2), pages 451-494, 05.
  8. Sasha Roseneil, 2006. "On Not Living with a Partner: Unpicking Coupledom and Cohabitation," Sociological Research Online, Sociological Research Online, vol. 11(3), pages roseneil.
  9. Trevon D. Logan, 2011. "Economies Of Scale In The Household: Puzzles And Patterns From The American Past," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 49(4), pages 1008-1028, October.
  10. Barro, Robert, 2006. "Rare Disasters and Asset Markets in the Twentieth Century," Scholarly Articles 3208215, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  11. Frances Kobrin, 1976. "The fall in household size and the rise of the primary individual in the United States," Demography, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 127-138, February.
  12. Angus Deaton & Christina Paxson, 1998. "Economies of Scale, Household Size, and the Demand for Food," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 897-930, October.
  13. 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 1269-92, December.
  14. Matthias Doepke, 2004. "Accounting for Fertility Decline During the Transition to Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 347-383, 09.
  15. Raquel Fernández & Nezih Guner & John Knowles, 2005. "Love and Money: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis of Household Sorting and Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(1), pages 273-344, January.
  16. Jeremy Greenwood & Ananth Seshadri, 2002. "The US Demographic Transition," RCER Working Papers 487, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  17. Dora L. Costa, 1999. "A House of Her Own: Old Age Assistance and the Living Arrangements of Older Nonmarried Women," NBER Working Papers 6217, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Doepke, Matthias & Hazan, Moshe & Maoz, Yishay D., 2007. "The Baby Boom and World War II: A Macroeconomic Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 3253, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. Charles Strohm & Judith Seltzer & Susan Cochran & Vickie Mays, 2009. ""Living Apart Together" relationships in the United States," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 21(7), pages 177-214, August.
  20. Angus Deaton & Christina Paxson, 2003. "Engel's What? A Response to Gan and Vernon," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(6), pages 1378-1381, December.
  21. Oded Galor & David N. Weil, 1993. "The Gender Gap, Fertility, and Growth," NBER Working Papers 4550, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Paul Gomme & Peter Rupert, 2005. "Theory, measurement, and calibration of macroeconomic models," Working Paper 0505, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  23. Robert J. Barro, 2005. "Rare Events and the Equity Premium," NBER Working Papers 11310, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Li Gan & Victoria Vernon, 2003. "Testing the Barten Model of Economies of Scale in Household Consumption: Toward Resolving a Paradox of Deaton and Paxson," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(6), pages 1361-1377, December.
  25. Morris A. Davis & Andreas Lehnert & Robert F. Martin, 2005. "The Rent-Price Ratio for the Aggregate Stock of Owner-Occupied Housing," Urban/Regional 0509019, EconWPA.
  26. Daron Acemoglu, Kenneth Rogoff, Michael Woodford, 2009. "Discussion of "Marriage and Divorce since World War II: Analyzing the Role of Technological Progress on the Formation of Households"," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2008, Volume 23, pages 311-312 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Carlos Bethencourt & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 2009. "On The Living Arrangements Of Elderly Widows," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(3), pages 773-801, 08.
  28. Becker, Gary S & Lewis, H Gregg, 1973. "On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages S279-88, Part II, .
  29. David Lam, 1988. "Marriage Markets and Assortative Mating with Household Public Goods: Theoretical Results and Empirical Implications," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(4), pages 462-487.
  30. Stefania Albanesi, 2009. "Comment on "Marriage and Divorce since World War II: Analyzing the Role of Technological Progress on the Formation of Households"," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2008, Volume 23, pages 277-290 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  31. Jeremy Greenwood & Ananth Seshadri & Guillaume Vandenbroucke, 2002. "The Baby Boom and Baby Bust," Economie d'Avant Garde Research Reports 1, Economie d'Avant Garde.
  32. John Beresford & Alice Rivlin, 1966. "Privacy, poverty, and old age," Demography, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 247-258, March.
  33. Justin Wolfers, 2009. "Comment on "Marriage and Divorce since World War II: Analyzing the Role of Technological Progress on the Formation of Households"," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2008, Volume 23, pages 291-309 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  34. Ermisch, John F, 1981. "An Economic Theory of Household Formation: Theory and Evidence from the General Household Survey," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 28(1), pages 1-19, February.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bdm:wpaper:2010-07. 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: (Dirección de Sistemas)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.