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Intergenerational transfers and household structure: why do most Italian youths live with their parents?

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  • Manacorda, Marco
  • Moretti, Enrico

Abstract

85 percent of Italian men aged 18-33 live with their parents. We argue that Italian parents like to live with their children and a rise in their income makes it possible for them to offer their children higher consumption in exchange for their presence at home. Children prefer to live on their own but are willing to exchange some independence for extra consumption. We formalize this intuition with a bargaining model between parents and children. We test the predictions of the model by estimating the effect of parental income on the probability that children live with their parents. The key econometric issue is the endogeneity of parental income. In order to identify the causal effect of parental income on children''s living arrangements we use changes in parents'' retirement age induced by the 1992 reform of the Italian social security as an instrument for parental income. By raising retirement age, this reform forced some fathers to remain in the labor market longer than the cohort immediately preceding them, therefore raising their income. Our instrumental variable estimates indicate that a rise in parents'' income significantly raises the children''s propensity to live at home: a $500 increase in annual parental income results in a 3 to 3.5 percentage point rise in the proportion of children living with their parents.

Suggested Citation

  • Manacorda, Marco & Moretti, Enrico, 2002. "Intergenerational transfers and household structure: why do most Italian youths live with their parents?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20078, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:20078
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Paola Giuliano, 2007. "Living Arrangements in Western Europe: Does Cultural Origin Matter?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(5), pages 927-952, September.
    2. Vincenzo Galasso & Paola Profeta, 2004. "Lessons for an ageing society: the political sustainability of social security systems [‘Assessing dynamic efficiency: theory and evidence’]," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 19(38), pages 64-115.
    3. Anne Laferrère & David le Blanc, 2004. "Gone with the Windfall: How Do Housing Allowances Affect Student Co-residence?," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 50(3), pages 451-477.
    4. Anne Laferrere, 2005. "Leaving the Nest : The Interaction of Parental Income and Family Environment," Working Papers 2005-01, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
    5. Nuno Martins & Ernesto Villanueva, 2006. "Does limited access to mortgage debt explain why young adults live with their parents?," Working Papers 0628, Banco de España.
    6. Lisa Bell & Janet Gornick & Timothy Smeeding & Gary Burtless, 2007. "Failure to Launch: Cross-National Trends in the Transition to Economic Independence," LIS Working papers 456, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Family structure; Living Arrangements; Two-Sample IV;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions

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