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Do Family Wealth Shocks Affect Fertility Choices? Evidence from the Housing Market

Michael Lovenheim () and Kevin Mumford ()

The Review of Economics and Statistics, 2013, vol. 95, issue 2, 464-475

Abstract: This paper uses wealth changes driven by housing market variation to estimate the effect of family resources on fertility decisions. Using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, we show that a $100,000 increase in housing wealth among home owners causes a 16% to 18% increase in the probability of having a child. There is no evidence of an effect of MSA-level housing price growth on the fertility of renters, however. We also present evidence that housing wealth growth increases total fertility and that the responsiveness of fertility to housing wealth has increased over time, commensurate with the recent housing boom. © 2013 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Keywords: wealth shocks; fertility; income; wealth increases (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J13 R31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
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The Review of Economics and Statistics is currently edited by Amitabh Chandra, Olivier Coibion, Bryan S. Graham, Shachar Kariv, Amit K. Khandelwal, Asim Ijaz Khwaja, Brigitte C. Madrian and Rohini Pande

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