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Asset Accumulation and Family Size

  • James P. Smith

    (RAND Corporation)

  • Michael P. Ward

    (UCLA & RAND Corporation)

Utilizing panel data on families, estimates are made of the effects of children on asset accululation, asset composition, consumption, and family income. Young children are found to depress savings for young families but to increase savings for marriages of duration greater than five years. The principal channel through which children act to reduce savings is the decline in female earnings associated with the child- induced withdrawal of wives from the labor force. Family consumption actually decreases with the birth of a child, but this reduction is insufficient, for young families, to offset the fall in income. For families in which the wife does not work the estimates suggest that savings may actually increase with children.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/lab/papers/0403/0403001.pdf
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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Labor and Demography with number 0403001.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: 01 Mar 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpla:0403001
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 18. Demography, Vol. 17, No. 3, August 1980, pp. 243-260
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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  1. Milton Friedman, 1957. "A Theory of the Consumption Function," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie57-1.
  2. James P. Smith, 2004. "The Distribution of Family Earnings," Labor and Demography 0408010, EconWPA.
  3. Michael R. Darby, 1975. "The Consumer Expenditure Function," NBER Working Papers 0079, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Milton Friedman, 1957. "Introduction to "A Theory of the Consumption Function"," NBER Chapters, in: A Theory of the Consumption Function, pages 1-6 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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