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Location of Adult Children as An Attraction for Black and White Elderly Return and Onward Migrants in the United States: Application of a Three-level Nested Logit Model with Census Data


  • Kao-Lee Liaw
  • William H. Frey


This paper assesses the influence of the location of adult children on the 1985-90 interstate migration of black and white elderly "non-natives" (i.e. those whose state of residence in 1985 was different from their state of birth) in the United States, based on the application of a three- level nested logit model with 1990 census data. The model accounts for (1) the choice between departing and staying put, (2) the choice between return and onward migration, and (3) the choice of a specific destination. The main findings are as follows. First, elderly non-natives were strongly attracted by the location of their adult children when they made their migration decisions at all levels of the choice framework, and this attraction was stronger for the widowed than for those of other marital statuses. This finding can be taken as empirical support for Eugene Litwak's theory of the modified extended family. Second, in the return/onward and destination choice processes, the attraction of the location of adult children was found to be stronger for whites than for blacks. This finding is consistent with the finding of Hogan et al (1993) that whites had stronger intergenerational connections than did blacks.

Suggested Citation

  • Kao-Lee Liaw & William H. Frey, 2002. "Location of Adult Children as An Attraction for Black and White Elderly Return and Onward Migrants in the United States: Application of a Three-level Nested Logit Model with Census Data," Quantitative Studies in Economics and Population Research Reports 376, McMaster University.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcm:qseprr:376

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Frank T. Denton & Byron G. Spencer, 1997. "How Well Does the CPI Serve as an Index of Inflation for Older Age Groups?," Quantitative Studies in Economics and Population Research Reports 329, McMaster University.
    2. Denton, Frank T. & Mountain, Dean C., 2001. "Income distribution and aggregation/disaggregation biases in the measurement of consumer demand elasticities," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 21-28, October.
    3. Denton, Frank T & Mountain, Dean C & Spencer, Byron G, 1999. "Age, Trend, and Cohort Effects in a Macro Model of Canadian Expenditure Patterns," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 17(4), pages 430-443, October.
    4. Deaton, Angus S & Muellbauer, John, 1980. "An Almost Ideal Demand System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 312-326, June.
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    More about this item


    elderly migration; location of adult children; nested logit model;

    JEL classification:

    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination


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