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Proximity and Coresidence of Adult Children and their Parents in the United States: Description and Correlates

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  • Compton, Janice

    () (University of Manitoba)

  • Pollak, Robert

    () (Washington University, St. Louis)

Abstract

In this paper we provide an overview of the patterns of intergenerational proximity and coresidence of adult children and their mothers in the U.S., using data from the National Survey of Families and Households (NSFH) and the U.S. Census. We highlight the importance of three specification and sample choices in the analysis. First, most previous studies consider coresidence to be the limiting case of proximity, using Tobit, ordered logit, or ordered probit specifications. We argue that proximity and coresidence are qualitatively different, and show that the multinomial logit provides a better representation of the patterns in the data. Second, we argue that substantial differences in the correlates of proximity by gender and marital status indicate the importance of modeling these categories separately. Third, the NSFH allows us to consider the proximity of couples to both his mother and her mother. This information is rarely available in survey data but is important for complete analyses. Our results show that education and age are the most robust predictors of proximity: college graduates are less likely to live near their mothers and older children live further from their mothers. Other demographic variables such as race, ethnicity and only child status also affect the probability of close proximity and coresidence. However, characteristics indicating adult children's current need for transfers (e.g. grandchildren) are not correlated with either close proximity or coresidence, while characteristics indicating mothers' current needs for transfers (e.g., disability) are correlated with coresidence but not close proximity.

Suggested Citation

  • Compton, Janice & Pollak, Robert, 2013. "Proximity and Coresidence of Adult Children and their Parents in the United States: Description and Correlates," IZA Discussion Papers 7431, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7431
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Helmut Rainer & Thomas Siedler, 2009. "O Brother, Where Art Thou? The Effects of Having a Sibling on Geographic Mobility and Labour Market Outcomes," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 76(303), pages 528-556, July.
    2. Joshua L. Rosenbloom & William A. Sundstrom, 2003. "The Decline and Rise of Interstate Migration in the United States: Evidence from the IPUMS, 1850-1990," NBER Working Papers 9857, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Esther Duflo, 2000. "Child Health and Household Resources in South Africa: Evidence from the Old Age Pension Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 393-398, May.
    4. 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, vol. 72(1), pages 39-59, April.
    5. Janice Compton & Robert A. Pollak, 2007. "Why Are Power Couples Increasingly Concentrated in Large Metropolitan Areas?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 475-512.
    6. Donald Boyd & Hamilton Lankford & Susanna Loeb & James Wyckoff, 2005. "The draw of home: How teachers' preferences for proximity disadvantage urban schools," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(1), pages 113-132.
    7. Compton, Janice & Pollak, Robert A., 2014. "Family proximity, childcare, and women’s labor force attachment," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 72-90.
    8. Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2000. "Power Couples: Changes in the Locational Choice of the College Educated, 1940–1990," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1287-1315.
    9. Liliana E. Pezzin & Robert A. Pollak & Barbara Steinberg Schone, 2008. "Parental Marital Disruption, Family Type, and Transfers to Disabled Elderly Parents," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 63(6), pages 349-358.
    10. Merril Silverstein, 1995. "Stability and change in temporal distance between the elderly and their children," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 32(1), pages 29-45, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. P. Rupert & G. Zanella, 2014. "Grandchildren and Their Grandparents’ Labor Supply," Working Papers wp937, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    2. Tak Chan & John Ermisch, 2015. "Proximity of Couples to Parents: Influences of Gender, Labor Market, and Family," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 52(2), pages 379-399, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    intergenerational transfers; family proximity;

    JEL classification:

    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General

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