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Do higher rents discourage fertility? evidence from U.S. cities, 1940-2000

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  • Simon, Curtis
  • Tamura, Robert

Abstract

This paper documents the existence of a negative cross-sectional correlation between the price of living space and fertility using U.S. Census data over the period 1940-2000. This correlation is not spurious, nor does it reflect the tendency of larger families to locate within less-expensive areas of a given metropolitan area. We examine the extent to which the results reflect the sorting of married couples across metropolitan areas on desired fertility. The relationship between the unit price of living space and fertility in fact tends to be more negative for households that have moved recently. However, the probability of migration between metropolitan areas is smaller for larger families, even those originating in more expensive cities. Moreover, Durbin-Wu-Hausman tests reveal only limited evidence of endogeneity. The weaker effects of the price of living space for less mobile couples seems to be at least in part a result of their choosing to live in less-expensive portions within a given metropolitan area.

Suggested Citation

  • Simon, Curtis & Tamura, Robert, 2008. "Do higher rents discourage fertility? evidence from U.S. cities, 1940-2000," MPRA Paper 7721, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:7721
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Dettling, Lisa J. & Kearney, Melissa S., 2014. "House prices and birth rates: The impact of the real estate market on the decision to have a baby," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 82-100.
    2. Klaus Desmet & Stephen Parente, 2012. "The evolution of markets and the revolution of industry: a unified theory of growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 205-234, September.
    3. Tamura, Robert & Simon, Curtis, 2017. "Secular Fertility Declines, Baby Booms, And Economic Growth: International Evidence," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 21(07), pages 1601-1672, October.
    4. Hiroshi Aiura & Yasuhiro Sato, 2014. "A model of urban demography," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 47(3), pages 981-1009, August.
    5. Day, Creina & Guest, Ross, 2016. "Fertility and female wages: A new link via house prices," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 121-132.
    6. Tamura, Robert & Simon, Curtis & Murphy, Kevin M., 2012. "Black and White Fertility, Differential Baby Booms: The Value of Civil Rights," MPRA Paper 40921, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Kevin M. Murphy & Curtis J. Simon & Robert Tamura, 2011. "Black and White Fertility, Differential Baby Booms: The Value of Civil Rights (Equal Opportunity for Education)," 2011 Meeting Papers 238, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. Dan A. Black & Natalia Kolesnikova & Seth G. Sanders & Lowell J. Taylor, 2013. "Are Children “Normal”?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(1), pages 21-33, March.
    9. William A.V. Clark, 2012. "Do women delay family formation in expensive housing markets?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 27(1), pages 1-24, July.
    10. Kevin M. Murphy & Curtis Simon & Robert Tamura, 2008. "Fertility Decline, Baby Boom, and Economic Growth," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(3), pages 262-302.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    price of space; fertility; metropolitan areas;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand

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