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Aging, Moving, and Housing Wealth

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  • Steven F. Venti
  • David A. Wise

Abstract

We have described the relationship between family attributes and moving, and between moving and change in housing wealth. Moving is often associated with retirement and with precipitating shocks like the death of a spouse or by other changes in marital status. Median housing wealth increases as the elderly age. Even when the elderly move, housing equity is as likely to increase as to decrease. Thus, the typical mover is not liquidity constrained, although some are. High transaction cost associated with moving is apparently not the cause for the lack of the reduction in housing wealth as the elderly age. The absence of a well-developed market for reverse mortgages may be explained by a lack of demand for these financial instruments. The evidence suggests that the typical elderly family does not wish to reduce housing wealth to increase current consumption. For whatever reason, there is apparently a considerable attachment among homeowners to past housing.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 1987. "Aging, Moving, and Housing Wealth," NBER Working Papers 2324, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2324
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 1986. "Tax-Deferred Accounts, Constrained Choice and Estimation of Individual Saving," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(4), pages 579-601.
    2. Bernheim, B Douglas & Shleifer, Andrei & Summers, Lawrence H, 1986. "The Strategic Bequest Motive," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages 151-182, July.
    3. Jonathan Feinstein & Daniel McFadden, 1989. "The Dynamics of Housing Demand by the Elderly: Wealth, Cash Flow, and Demographic Effects," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of Aging, pages 55-92 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Michael D. Hurd, 1986. "Savings and Bequests," NBER Working Papers 1826, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Michael D. Hurd & David A. Wise, 1989. "The Wealth and Poverty of Widows: Assets Before and After the Husband's Death," NBER Chapters,in: The Economics of Aging, pages 177-200 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Jerry A. Hausman & David A. Wise, 1985. "Social Security, Health Status, and Retirement," NBER Chapters,in: Pensions, Labor, and Individual Choice, pages 159-192 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Diamond, P. A. & Hausman, J. A., 1984. "Individual retirement and savings behavior," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1-2), pages 81-114.
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