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Tuition, jobs, or housing: what's keeping millennials at home?



This paper documents marked changes in young Americans? residence choices over the past fifteen years, with recent cohorts delaying homeownership and lingering much longer in parents? households. To understand the sources and implications of this decline in independence, we estimate the contributions of local economic circumstances to the decision to live with parents or independently. Transition models, local aggregates, and state-cohort tuition patterns are used to address the likely presence of individual- and neighborhood-level unobserved heterogeneity. Employment and housing market estimates imply countervailing influences of local economic growth on co-residence. Increasing college costs, however, unambiguously favor co-residence with parents.

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  • Zachary Bleemer & Meta Brown & Donghoon Lee & Wilbert Van der Klaauw, 2014. "Tuition, jobs, or housing: what's keeping millennials at home?," Staff Reports 700, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:700
    Note: Previous title: "Debt, Jobs, or Housing: What’s Keeping Millennials at Home?"

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sascha Becker & Samuel Bentolila & Ana Fernandes & Andrea Ichino, 2010. "Youth emancipation and perceived job insecurity of parents and children," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(3), pages 1047-1071, June.
    2. Meta Brown & John Karl Scholz & Ananth Seshadri, 2012. "A New Test of Borrowing Constraints for Education," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 79(2), pages 511-538.
    3. Sebastian Dyrda & Greg Kaplan & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 2012. "Business Cycles and Household Formation: The Micro vs the Macro Labor Elasticity," NBER Working Papers 17880, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Meta Brown & Andrew F. Haughwout & Donghoon Lee & Wilbert Van der Klaauw, 2011. "Do we know what we owe? A comparison of borrower- and lender-reported consumer debt," Staff Reports 523, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    5. Sumit Agarwal & Luojia Hu & Xing Huang, 2013. "Rushing into American Dream? House Prices, Timing of Homeownership, and Adjustment of Consumer Credit," Working Paper Series WP-2013-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    6. Kathleen McGarry & Robert F. Schoeni, 1995. "Transfer Behavior in the Health and Retirement Study: Measurement and the Redistribution of Resources within the Family," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30, pages 184-226.
    7. Dettling, Lisa J. & Hsu, Joanne W., 2018. "Returning to the nest: Debt and parental co-residence among young adults," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 225-236.
    8. Ermisch, John, 1999. "Prices, Parents, and Young People's Household Formation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 47-71, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Frederick T. Furlong, 2016. "Household formation among young adults," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    2. Hippolyte d'Albis & Karina Doorley & Elena Stancanelli, 2021. "Older mothers' employment and marriage stability when the nest is empty," PSE Working Papers halshs-03203063, HAL.
    3. Lance Lochner & Alexander Monge-Naranjo, 2014. "Student Loans and Repayment: Theory, Evidence and Policy," Working Papers 2014-40, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    4. Pinka Chatterji & Xiangshi Liu & Barış K. Yörük, 2022. "Health insurance and the boomerang generation: Did the 2010 ACA dependent care provision affect geographic mobility and living arrangements among young adults?," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 40(2), pages 243-262, April.
    5. Bleemer, Zachary & van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2019. "Long-run net distributionary effects of federal disaster insurance: The case of Hurricane Katrina," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 70-88.
    6. Zachary Bleemer & Wilbert Van der Klaauw, 2017. "Disaster (over-)insurance: the long-term financial and socioeconomic consequences of Hurricane Katrina," Staff Reports 807, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    7. Cooper, Daniel & Luengo-Prado, María José, 2018. "Household formation over time: Evidence from two cohorts of young adults," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 106-123.
    8. Goodman, Sarena & Isen, Adam & Yannelis, Constantine, 2021. "A day late and a dollar short: Liquidity and household formation among student borrowers," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 142(3), pages 1301-1323.
    9. Adam Looney & Constantine Yannelis, 2015. "A Crisis in Student Loans? How Changes in the Characteristics of Borrowers and in the Institutions They Attended Contributed to Rising Loan Defaults," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 46(2 (Fall)), pages 1-89.
    10. Bleemer, Zachary & Brown, Meta & Lee, Donghoon & Strair, Katherine & van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2021. "Echoes of rising tuition in students’ borrowing, educational attainment, and homeownership in post-recession America," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(C).
    11. Nachatter Singh Garha & Alda Botelho Azevedo, 2021. "Population and Housing (Mis)match in Lisbon, 1981–2018. A Challenge for an Aging Society," Social Sciences, MDPI, vol. 10(3), pages 1-18, March.
    12. Jordan Rappaport, 2015. "Millennials, baby boomers, and rebounding multifamily home construction," Macro Bulletin, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 1-2, June.
    13. Cox, James C. & Kreisman, Daniel & Dynarski, Susan, 2020. "Designed to fail: Effects of the default option and information complexity on student loan repayment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 192(C).
    14. Adamopoulou, Effrosyni, 2016. "Living Arrangements of the Youth: Determinants and Gender Differences/Patrones de convivencia de los jóvenes: Determinantes y diferencias por sexos," Estudios de Economia Aplicada, Estudios de Economia Aplicada, vol. 34, pages 35-44, Enero.
    15. Nicholas Fritsch & Rawley Heimer, 2020. "Intergenerational Homeownership and Mortgage Distress," Economic Commentary, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, vol. 2020(12), pages 1-7, June.
    16. John Mondragon & Janice Eberly & Gene Amromin, 2017. "The Housing Crisis and the Rise in Student Loans," 2017 Meeting Papers 369, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    17. Cristina Barceló & Ernesto Villanueva, 2018. "The risk of job loss, household formation and housing demand: evidence from differences in severance payments," Working Papers 1849, Banco de España.

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    More about this item


    household information; mobility; student loans;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand

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