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

  • Simon, Curtis
  • Tamura, Robert

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.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/7721/1/MPRA_paper_7721.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 7721.

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Date of creation: 15 Feb 2008
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:7721
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  1. Jan K. Brueckner & Ann G. Largey, 2006. "Social Interaction and Urban Sprawl," Working Papers 060707, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  2. Roback, Jennifer, 1982. "Wages, Rents, and the Quality of Life," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1257-78, December.
  3. Margo, Robert A., 1996. "The Rental Price of Housing in New York City, 1830–1860," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(03), pages 605-625, September.
  4. Glaeser, Edward L & Gyourko, Joseph & Saks, Raven, 2005. "Why Is Manhattan So Expensive? Regulation and the Rise in Housing Prices," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(2), pages 331-69, October.
  5. Jonathan Guryan, 2001. "Desegregation and Black Dropout Rates," NBER Working Papers 8345, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Naz, Ghazala & Nilsen, Øivind Anti & Vagstad, Steinar, 2002. "Education and completed fertility in Norway," Working Papers in Economics 18/02, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
  7. Davidson, Russell & MacKinnon, James G., 1993. "Estimation and Inference in Econometrics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195060119, March.
  8. Francisco Covas & J.M.C. Santos Silva, 2000. "A modified hurdle model for completed fertility," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 173-188.
  9. Ermisch, John, 1999. "Prices, Parents, and Young People's Household Formation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 47-71, January.
  10. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko, 2001. "Urban Decline and Durable Housing," NBER Working Papers 8598, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Haurin, Donald R & Hendershott, Patric H & Kim, Dongwook, 1993. "The Impact of Real Rents and Wages on Household Formation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(2), pages 284-93, May.
  12. Hans-Peter Kohler & Francesco C. Billari & José Antonio Ortega, 2002. "The Emergence of Lowest-Low Fertility in Europe During the 1990s," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 28(4), pages 641-680.
  13. DiPasquale, Denise, 1999. "Why Don't We Know More about Housing Supply?," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 9-23, January.
  14. Borsch-Supan, Axel, 1986. "Household formation, housing prices, and public policy impacts," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 145-164, July.
  15. Schultz, T. Paul, 1993. "Demand for children in low income countries," Handbook of Population and Family Economics, in: M. R. Rosenzweig & Stark, O. (ed.), Handbook of Population and Family Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 349-430 Elsevier.
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  1. Historical Economic Geography

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