Copyright by Tansel Yilmazer 2002

The Dissertation Committee for Tansel Yilmazer certifies that this is the approved version of the following dissertation:

Household Saving Behavior, Portfolio Choice and Children: Evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances

Committee:

Daniel T. Slesnick, Supervisor Don Fullerton Maxwell B. Stinchcombe Peter J. Wilcoxen Jacqueline Angel

Household Saving Behavior, Portfolio Choice and Children: Evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances

by Tansel Yilmazer, B.S., M.A.

DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School of The University of Texas at Austin in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN December 2002

____________________________________________________________ ProQuest Information and Learning Company 300 North Zeeb Road PO Box 1346 Ann Arbor. United States Code. This microform edition is protected against unauthorized copying under Title 17. MI 48106-1346 . All rights reserved.UMI Number: 3110711 ________________________________________________________ UMI Microform 3110711 Copyright 2004 by ProQuest Information and Learning Company.

guidance and encouragement. G¨rkem Celik. I would like to thank my advisor.Acknowledgments I am grateful to many people who shared the best and worst moments of ‘my dissertation years. I wish to thank Fikret for always being there for me. patience. Anne Gorney. Finally. Steve Trejo. I am indebted to my family for their love and believing in me over these years. Angela Lyons.’ First. Matias Fontenla. in spite of the thousands of miles between us. Daniel Slesnick. Mala Velamuri. Maxwell Stinchcombe. Anne Golla. Special thanks go to Asli Kes. Peter Wilcoxen and Jacqueline Angel for their valuable feedback and comments. o ¸ and Vivian Goldman-Leffler for their stimulating conversations and friendship. Adam Winship. for his support. I would also like to thank my committee members Don Fullerton. iv .

such as educational expenses. such as owner-occupied housing.D. Slesnick Using the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF). The first chapter examines how the number of children living in the household affects the way households allocate their wealth across different assets. Tansel Yilmazer. (ii) to build up reserves as a precaution for a ‘rainy day. Portfolio Choice and Children: Evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances Publication No.Household Saving Behavior. this dissertation examines the relationship between having children and the motives of saving: (i) to hold assets because of the return they provide. As a result of the portfolio constraint. Ph. The University of Texas at Austin. The results show that the number of children increases the housing consumption of homeowners and the share of the portfolio allocated to owner-occupied housing. v . 2002 Supervisor: Daniel T. risky assets and interest-bearing accounts.’ and (iii) to accumulate for anticipated future needs. The portfolio allocation of homeowners is compared to that of renters by taking into account the portfolio constraint imposed by the consumption demand for housing.

The third chapter examines the effect of financing children’s college education on household savings. The results are consistent with the predictions the lifecycle theory of saving that households save in advance for expected expenses to smooth their consumption. the empirical model estimates the expected expenditures on children’s college education and investigates the effect of expected college expenses on household savings. The results show that households with higher income uncertainty are less likely to have a child. vi . income uncertainty has little effect on household savings. the second chapter investigates the relationship between household saving and fertility decisions. Further. having an additional child reduces savings of households with young heads and increases savings of those with older heads. By examining the implications of income uncertainty on the demand for children. savings for college increase with the age of the household head. Also. The results show that parents save for college expenses of their children. this chapter extends the empirical work on precautionary savings. and after controlling for family size.homeowners decrease the share of the portfolio invested in retirement assets as the number of children increases. Using the actual college expenditures reported in the 1983-86 SCF. Using a life-cycle model that incorporates precautionary motives for saving.

. .2. . . . Conclusion . . . . . . Chapter 3. . . vii . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Estimation and Results . . . . . 3. 2. . . . . .1 3. . . . . . .5 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . .Table of Contents Acknowledgments Abstract List of Tables List of Figures Chapter 1. 2. . Do Children Affect Household Portfolio Allocation? 2. . . . Introduction iv v ix xi 1 6 6 12 12 15 17 24 30 44 44 48 51 58 63 Chapter 2. . . . . .4 3. . . . . 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2. . .5 The Effect of Precautionary Motives Saving and Fertility Introduction . . . . . . . . 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Estimation and Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 3. . . . . . . . . . . The Relationship between Fertility and Saving .2 3. .2 The Model . 2. . . . . . . . .1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Theory . . . . . . . .2 Empirical Model .2. . . . . . . . . . Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Data . . . . . . . . on Household . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . Education . . . . . . . . . . .2 Definition of Variables . . . . . . . . . . Appendix for Chapter A. . . . . .Chapter 4. . . . . . . . . . . .6 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 73 80 83 86 88 93 103 Appendix A. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Empirical Specification . . . . . . . . . . . Appendix for Chapter 3 109 B. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 104 . . . . 4. . . . . .5 Estimation and Results . Appendix for Chapter 4 111 C. . . . . 104 . . .1 Definition of Variables . . 106 Appendix B. . . . . . . . . A. . . . . . . 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Estimating Marginal Tax Rates . . . .3 Data . . . . . . . . . 109 Appendix C. . . . . Appendices College . . . . 4. . . . . . . . . . . . 105 . A. . .2 A Model of Saving for College 4. . . . . . . .1 Definition of Variables . . . 4. . . .1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . Saving for Children’s 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Estimating Permanent Income . 111 Bibliography Vita 113 121 viii . . . . .

. . . . . . .10 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . Descriptive Statistics by Household Fertility Decision . . . . . . . The Effect of a Change in the Fertility Decision on SAVE1 . . . . . . .3 2.2 2.2 3. . . . . Children in . . . . . Mean Income Uncertainty by Household Demographics . . .1 3. . . . . . Income and Income Uncertainty by Age and Fertility Probit: Fertility Decision of Fecund Households . . . . 1998 . Results: Asset Shares and Housing Expenditure of Renters . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 2. . . . .5 3. . . . . . . Descriptive Summary of Variables . Regressions of SAVE1 on Income Uncertainty with Endogenous Fertility Decision . . . . Poisson Regression: Number of Children . . . . . . . . Renters: Continued . Saving Motives By the Number of Children . . . . . . . . . . . Mean Asset Shares. . . . . . . . . . . . 1998: Continued . . . .3 3. Mean Asset Shares by Year . . . . . . . . . . . .6 2.5 2. . . . . . .6 3. . 1998 .11 3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 4. . . . .9 2.7 2. 1983 . . . . Savings.List of Tables 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . Results from Probit Estimation . . .2 4. . . . .1 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Descriptive Statistics by Year . . . . . . . .4 3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mean Asset Shares. . . Portfolio Shares for Assets by the Number of Children and Age Saving Motives by Age Groups.1 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Regressions of SAVE2 on Income Uncertainty with Endogenous Fertility Decision . .4 4. . . . . . . . . Tobit Estimates of College Expenditure Equation ix . . 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 95 96 97 98 99 . . . . . .7 3. . . . . . . . . . . . . Savings and College Expenses by the Number of College . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Expenditure on Housing. . . .4 2. . . Results: Asset Shares and Housing Expenditure of Homeowners Homeowners: Continued . . . . . . . . . . . . .

7 College Expenditures and Savings by the Number of Children in College . 100 101 x . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4.6 4. . . . . . Effect of Anticipated College Expenses on Savings . . . . . . . . . . . . .

List of Figures

4.1

The Importance of Educational Expenses on Savings . . . . .

102

xi

Chapter 1 Introduction

Raising children is costly with their housing, educational and other expenses. To meet the costs of raising their children, parents use both current income and intertemporal transfers. Children living in the household, therefore, are likely to affect the level of household savings, portfolio composition and the life-cycle profile of savings. Using data from the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF), this dissertation examines the relationship between children and the motives of saving: (i) to hold assets because of the return they provide, (ii) to build up reserves as a precaution for a ‘rainy day,’ and (iii) to accumulate for anticipated future needs, such as educational expenses. Most U.S. households hold a large portion of their wealth in the form of owner-occupied housing. According to the 1995 SCF, 65 percent of households are homeowners, and the value of an average homeowner’s property is 60 percent of its total assets. Owner-occupied housing differs from other types of wealth in its dual role as both a consumption good and an investment good. Since households cannot separate the level of consumption of housing services from investment in housing as an asset, the optimal level of owner-occupied housing may be higher than the optimal level for households only interested

1

in long run returns. The demand for housing services is likely to increase with the number of children living in the household. Therefore, the consumption constraint can be even more binding for households with children. Chapter 2 uses the 1989, 1992, 1995 and 1998 SCF to investigate how the number of children living in the household affect the portfolio choice between housing and other assets. The portfolio allocation of homeowners is compared to that of renters by taking into account the portfolio constraint imposed by the consumption demand for housing. The empirical model also examines the effect of children on the demand for housing services and homeownership decision. The results show that the number of children increases the housing consumption of homeowners as well as the share of the portfolio allocated to owner-occupied housing. As a result of the portfolio constraint, homeowners decrease the portfolio share of retirement assets as the number of children increases. Low levels of retirement savings of U.S. households have generated significant concern in the last twenty years. The findings of Chapter 2 show that households with children decrease the portfolio share for retirement savings considerably while they increase the portfolio share for housing. If the return on housing is less than the return on retirement accounts, there is a hidden cost of children. Explaining the size of the portfolio effect allows a better understanding of the cost of children. Also, changes in housing programs or tax deduction rules for mortgage interest payments influence the portfolio allocation of households with children considerably by increasing or decreasing the 2

The 1983-89 panel of the SCF is used to examine the interaction of income uncertainty and changes in the number of children on the saving behavior of households at different stages of the life cycle. This finding is consistent with the life-cycle theory of saving and consumption and shows that household composition is an important factor 3 . this chapter extends the empirical work on precautionary saving. Precautionary saving models predict that uncertainty about future income may cause households to reduce their current consumption in order to raise their stock of precautionary saving. are not consistent with the predictions of the precautionary saving model that suggests agents faced with uncertainty about future income increase their savings. having an additional child decreases savings of households with young heads and increases savings of those with older heads. Chapter 3 investigates the relation between household saving and fertility decisions. The data on U. household saving show that saving rates are higher for married couples with no children and lower for those with children. Income uncertainty actually reduces savings of the households with low or very high wealth holdings and does not affect the saving behavior of other households.cost of homeownership. The results of the empirical model in Chapter 3 show that households with higher income uncertainty are less likely to have a child at a point in time.S. By examining the implications of uncertainty on the fertility decisions of households and incorporating fertility decisions as a motive for household saving behavior. Using a life cycle model that incorporates precautionary motives for saving. Also. however. The findings.

Chapter 4 estimates the household’s expected expenditures on children’s college education and investigates the effect of expected college expenses on household savings. Third. an analysis of financing college education and family size highlights an important aspect of the quality-quantity model. The college financial aid system imposes an implicit tax on the savings of households that are potentially eligible for financial assistance. about 65 percent reported using some previous savings. families who save for college reduce their eligibility for financial aid. Understanding the effect of financing children’s college education on household saving behavior is important for at least three reasons. the quality-quantity model of fertility behavior assumes that parents have preferences both for the expenditure per child and the number of children. Using the actual college expenditures reported in the 1983-86 SCF. savings for college education increases with the age of 4 . Second. Chapter 4 examines the effect of financing children’s college education on household savings. parents contribute a significant amount to their children’s college expenses. Also. The results show that parents save for college expenses of their children. First. 90 percent of dependent undergraduate’s parents contributed financially to the costs of their children’s education.of life-cycle savings. According to the 1996 National Postsecondary Student Aid Survey. Of those contributing to their children’s college costs in 1987. This chapter uses the amount of parental expenditure on children’s college education as a measure for child quality. Given the rapidly rising cost of college tuition.

5 .the household head. These results are consistent with the predictions of the life-cycle theory of saving and consumption that households save in advance for expected expenses to smooth their consumption.

So far. risky assets. King and Leape [41]. and interest-bearing accounts. For example.Chapter 2 Do Children Affect Household Portfolio Allocation? 2. and Sund`n and Surette [52] e for gender effects. race and gender of the household head on the portfolio composition. and Ioannides [34] for age effect. the literature has focused on the impact of demographic variables such as the effect of age. households with children may purchase more housing than households with no children or they may have a higher probability of owning a home. Parents may choose to invest part of their household portfolio in stocks to meet the rising costs of a college education. Jianakoplas and Bernasek [35]. Conversely.1 The influence of children living in the household on the portfolio composition has not been yet discussed. It is likely that children living in the household affect the way a household allocates its wealth across different assets such as owner-occupied housing. they may hold most of their financial assets in riskless See Poterba and Samwick [46].1 Introduction Empirical studies of household portfolio composition have identified large differences in portfolio allocation choices of different demographic groups. Chiteji and Stafford [13] for race. 1 6 .

then changes in housing programs or tax deduction rules for mortgage interest payments influence their portfolio allocation by increasing or decreasing the cost of homeownership. as the result of higher consumption demand for housing. Understanding the size of the impact of children on household portfolio allocation is intrinsically interesting. (ii) the portfolio shares for housing and the other assets that homeowners and renters hold. 7 . households have generated significant concern in the last twenty years. Using data from the 1989. I focus on how the number and age of children living in the household affect (i) the homeownership decision. households with children may decrease the portfolio share for other assets considerably while they increase the portfolio share for housing. Low levels of retirement savings of U. 1992. Also. It has also important policy implications. If households with children allocate a larger share of their portfolio to owneroccupied housing. The failure of households with children to invest sufficient assets in retirement accounts may lead to a lower retirement wealth. this chapter investigates the effect of children on household portfolio composition.S. paying particular attention to the impact of children on the demand for housing services and homeownership decision. Specifically. and (iii) the housing expenditure of homeowners and renters. 1995 and 1998 SCF.form to decrease their families’ exposure to risk. I analyze a model in which households decide on portfolio shares for different assets jointly with the tenure choice (the decision of owning or renting) and the consumption demand for housing services.

In his model. Exceptions are the theoretical model of Brueckner [7]. 2 See Henderson and Ioannides [27] and Berkovec and Fullerton [4] 8 . The optimal level of owner-occupied housing for households may be higher than the optimal level for households that are only interested in long run returns. and King and Leape [41] examine the 1960-62 Michigan Surveys of Consumer Finances. households hold a large portion of their wealth in the form of owner-occupied housing. While the dual role of housing has been recognized. and the ownership of their principal residence determines the level of consumption of housing services. 65 percent of households are homeowners. its impact on the portfolio choice between housing and other assets has not been discussed much. 1992 1995 SCF. households cannot separate the level of consumption of housing services from investment in housing as an asset. Explaining the size of the portfolio effect allows a better understanding of the cost of children. Households with children are likely to have a higher demand for housing services and the consumption constraint can be even more binding. Brueckner analyzes the behavior of homeowners. 1989.S. the general equilibrium model of Berkovec and Fullerton [4] and the numerical analysis of Flavin and Yamashita [20].2 In the presence of tax distortions and transaction costs. and the value of an average homeowner’s property is 60 percent of its total assets. Wolff [56] uses the 1983. and both report that owner-occupied housing accounts for about 30 percent of household assets.Most U. Owner-occupied housing differs from other types of wealth in its dual role as both a consumption good and an investment good. According to the 1995 SCF.

Their simulation concentrates on the effect of taxes on the tenure choice and owner-occupied housing. Harun et al. His model analyzes the resulting distortion of the effect of this investment constraint on the portfolio choice of homeowners. Flavin and Yamashita use numerical methods to calculate the mean-variance efficient frontier. For example. In Berkovec and Fullerton. Their results show that the portfolio constraint imposed by the consumption demand for housing causes a life-cycle pattern in the portfolio shares for stocks and bonds such that the ratio of stocks to net worth increases as the household head gets older. [26] treat the presence of children in the household as endogenous and find that a 10 percent increase in the probability of having a child raises the likelihood of homeownership by 2. Robst et al. This chapter extends the previous studies of portfolio choice by examining the effect of both consumption and investment motives on the portfolio share for housing and other assets. The literature on housing demand has recognized the role of children on the tenure choice and the demand for housing services. [36] show that 9 .5 percent. households decide on tenure and quantity of housing taking both consumption and investment motives into account.an investment constraint requires that the quantity of housing owned is at least as large as the quantity of housing consumed. The results of his model show that when the constraint imposed by housing is binding. the homeowner’s optimal portfolio is inefficient in a mean-variance framework. Neither of these studies explicitly analyzes the determinants of the consumption demand for housing and the portfolio share for housing.

The results of the previous studies show that dependent children have some impact on the demand for housing. only 41 percent of households held stocks directly or indirectly in IRAs. however. these variables do not affect the housing demand of homeowners. according to the 1995 SCF. For example. Besides housing. Demographic characteristics such as age. the importance of the current and expected family size differs between owners and renters: while renters demand more housing with an increase in family size and expectation of an additional child within the next nine months.S. U. Among recent movers. their results show that the presence of children in school has either an insignificant or a negative effect on the demand for housing. However. Goodman and Kawai [25] find that larger households prefer more housing. The information cost of monitoring and managing a portfolio is suggested as an important reason for holding riskless assets. Many studies have investigated the reasons that most households choose to hold incomplete portfolios. and race of the household head are shown to be significant factors that reduce the level of information cost that would be sufficient to 10 . households typically invest in only a few of the assets available in the economy. marital status. Ihlanfeldt [33] reports housing demand estimates obtained separately from two samples-recent movers and nonmovers.an additional child increases the probability of owning a home by around 8 percent. After controlling for the household size. little systematic treatment of children has appeared in the estimation of tenure choice and housing demand. as noted in Goodman [24]. defined benefit pensions and mutual funds. 401(k)s.

The empirical model compares the portfolio allocation of homeowners to that of renters. The theoretical model developed in the chapter shows how the portfolio constraint imposed by the consumption demand for housing affects the portfolio shares for housing and other assets. The results show that the number of children has a positive and significant effect 11 . Bertaut [5] uses the 1983-89 SCF to analyze the effect of household characteristics on portfolio allocation. and they estimate equations for both the probability of owning an asset and its demand conditional upon ownership. Using the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. This chapter aims to do so by examining the effect of the number and the age of children on household portfolio choice. For example. Their finding is that parents who held stocks are more likely to have children who hold stocks as young adults. taking into account the effect of children on the consumption demand for housing. Children living in the household have not been the focus of any study examining the portfolio choice of households. In the conditional demand equations. His results show that household characteristics such as age and education of the household head are significant in explaining the probability of owning stocks. however. the effect of age and marital status appears to be significant only for some of the assets.discourage households from investing in risky assets. Their findings show that age and marital status of the household head significantly affect the probability of asset ownership. Chiteji and Stafford [13] link independent young African-American adults back to their parents. King and Leape [41] analyze a model in which investors choose to hold incomplete portfolios.

homeowners with all children older than age 13 invest a greater share of their portfolio in vehicles and other real estate and a smaller share of their portfolio in housing. Children living in the household also affects the portfolio choice of renters. The main conclusion of the chapter is that homeowners shift their resources from retirement accounts to housing with an increase in the number of children.4. As a result of the portfolio constraint imposed by the housing demand of children.1 The Model Theory This section examines the behavior of a consumer deciding whether to rent or own a home.2 introduces the theoretical model and discusses the empirical specification of the model. The number of children also increases the housing demand of homeowners. The estimation results are reported in Section 2.5.2. The consumer maximizes a multiperiod utility function. Section 2. Section 2. A summary of the findings and concluding remarks are presented in Section 2.on the probability of owning a home. Renters invest a smaller share of their portfolio in interest-bearing accounts with an increase in the number of children.3 describes the data set and the variables used in the empirical work.2 2. Following Brueckner [7] and 12 . 2. and how much to allocate to other risky assets. homeowners decrease the portfolio share in retirement accounts while they increase the portfolio share in housing. The remainder of this chapter is organized as follows. Controlling for the number of children and other variables.

Short selling is ruled out for all assets including housing. If the consumer purchases a house. A consumer in this economy is assumed to obtain utility from the current consumption of a single nondurable good (c). .2) 13 . and δ is the discount factor. (2.. and h ≥ 0. I assume that third and subsequent periods are buried in the indirect utility function given remaining wealth at the beginning of the second period. V is an indirect utility function. 1. and consumption in future periods that depends on the random total return R from the investment portfolio. (2. The consumer’s objective function can be written as follows: U (c. J. j = 0. The j th asset earns a gross return of rj . J. and owner-occupied housing earns rh . so that aj ≥ 0. j = 0. The first period budget constraint is given by J c=w− p o hc h − j=0 aj .1) where y is future labor income. The only source of uncertainty is assumed to be from returns on J + 1 assets and owner-occupied housing (h). hc ) + δE[V (R + y)].. 1. E gives the expected utility. The dollar amount of asset j purchased is denoted aj .. then she holds owner-occupied housing (h > 0) and is constrained to consume the same amount of owner-occupied housing in her portfolio (hc = h). housing services (hc ). with a0 being the riskless asset.. .Henderson and Ioannides [27]. U gives the utility from the current consumption.

.4) where po r is the price of a unit of housing for renters. 14 .6) and (2. and θjh is the covariance of returns between asset j and housing.where w is her initial wealth and po is the current price of a unit of housing. For renters.7) where θhh and θjj . . 2.7). h = 0 in equations (2. The total return of the J portfolio is given by R= j=0 rj aj . J.5) since h is equal to zero for renters. j = 1. respectively. then the first period budget constraint is given by J c = w − po hc − r j=0 aj . (2.. (2. are the variances of rh and rk . For homeowners..J. θjk is the covariance of returns between asset j and k. (2. h The total return of the portfolio is given by J R = rh h + j=0 rj aj . the return on housing and the return on other assets are assumed to be normal variables with the expected values rh and rj . the total portfolio return R is a normal random variable with the expected value J R = rh h + r0 a0 + j=1 r j aj (2.6) and the standard deviation J J K σ = (θhh h + 2 j=1 2 haj θhj + j=1 k=1 aj ak θjk )1/2 . In the model. . j = 1.. (2.3) If the consumer rents a house.

6) and (2. this problem can be solved in two stages. J. the asset levels aj . c j (2. J. and a∗ . I rewrite the objective function (2.Following Fama and Miller [21] and Brueckner [7].) is the standard normal density function. j = 0. (2. j = c j 0. In the first stage. First. j = 0. (2.2. h∗ . that maximize (2.9) where Xh is a vector of year dummies and characteristics that are associated 15 . The consumer also decides on c∗ . σ. . and shares of wealth to allocate to each asset j (sj ). how much to spend on housing (Eh ).. and to owner-occupied housing (sh ) is modeled as follows. ..2 Empirical Model The joint determination of whether own a house (H=1) or not (H=0).2). are chosen optimally with hc and σ held constant. hc ) + δ V (R + σz + y)φ(z)dz. J. (2. 1.1) subject to (2. and the standard normal variable z as follows: U (c. hc (and thus σ) is chosen optimally.7) and decides to own or rent a house comparing the utilities in two outcomes.5). that maximize (2. (2.8) where φ(... 1.6) and (2. The empirical model described in the next section focuses on the interaction between these two stages of decision making. h∗ and a∗ .. The consumer’s problem is to choose c∗ . In the second stage.1) in terms of R.3).7). 2. a household determines whether to own or rent a house: H = 1 if Xh β1 + ε1 > 0 = 0 otherwise. 1. (2. For both homeowners and renters. ..8) subject to (2..4).

βoj . respectively. as a regressor in estimating (2. (2. βoc and βrc are the parameter vectors to be estimated. J. j = 0.  j = 0. εrj .10) for homeowners.9) . φ(X β1 )/(1 − Φ(X β1 )) is used as a regressor for renters in estimating (2.11) where X and Xc are vectors of household characteristics and year dummies. βrj .10) (2.. Separate equations are specified for homeowners and renters. and also the housing expenditure:  j = 0.. β1 is a parameter vector..  log Eh = Xc βrc + εrc . 16 . J  sj = Xβoj + εoj sh = Xβh + εh If owner. . 1.. J  sj = Xβrj + εrj sh = 0 If renter.9) provides an estimate of β1 . . 1... In the second stage..11). j = 0. 1.. and ε1 is an error term. J. the household decides on the share of portfolio allocated to each asset and housing.(2. Second.. The two stage method described in Lee and Trost [42] is used to estimate the model.. and εoj . and the error terms in equations (2. . In the first stage. εh .. Similarly.11) are assumed to have a joint normal distribution. .  log Eh = Xc βoc + εoc . 1. βh ..with the probability of owning a house. I use ˆ ˆ φ(X β1 )/Φ(X β1 ). where φ and Φ are probability density and cumulative distribution of the standard ˆ ˆ normal distribution. εoc . and εrc are the error terms. a probit model of the tenure choice in equation (2.

906.3 Total assets are grouped into six categories: 1) ACCOUNT includes all holdings of checking accounts. 1992. and other defined contribution plans. in 1992. The SCF constructs sample weights to blend the supplements with the area-probability sample to get a more representative sample of the U. 1. 4) HOUSE is the market value of owner-occupied housing. The survey contains detailed information on household portfolios. 1.409 out of 4. 401(k)s. saving accounts. and other assets like arts and precious metals. call accounts. The consumption demand for housing is computed for renters and homeowners as follows. and demographic characteristics. cash value of life insurance. 5) VEHICLE is the value of all the vehicles the household owns. For owners. the cost of housing services depends on In the 1989 SCF. Keogh. 2) STOCK includes all assets held in stocks. population and a supplement of high-wealth households drawn from Internal Revenue Service file of high-income returns.519 out of 4.143 households.3 Data The data for this study are taken from the 1989. Investments in businesses are not included in total assets because they generate an income that is difficult to separate from earnings. in 1995.480 out of 3. 3) RETIRE includes IRAs. a triennial survey conducted by the Federal Reserve Board. 6) RESTATE includes the market value of seasonal residences and other property. and mutual funds.309 households. money market deposit accounts. 1995 and 1998 SCF. population. Each survey consists of a representative sample of the U.2. all types of bonds. the supplement consists of 866 out of 3. certificates of deposit.299. and 7) OTHER includes trusts.S. 3 17 .S. and in 1998. 1. income.

the income tax rate (τ ). maintenance and depreciation costs (d). The housing expenditures (Eh ) of homeowners are then defined as Eh = [(1 − τ )r + d + (1 − τ )τp − (ρ − π)]G − mτ. Property tax rates and mortgage interest payments are reported in the SCF. I make several assumptions. the mortgage interest payment (m). The inflation rate.the gross value of the residence (G). the interest rate (r). π. For renters.1. To calculate the housing expenditure by using equation (2. (2. First. and the rate of increase in house prices. the annual rental expenditure reported in the SCF is used as the consumption demand for housing. is the rate of increase in the median sale price of houses in that year. I impute them using detailed account information on the sources of income and demographics for each household. the rate of increase in the nominal price of housing (ρ) and the overall inflation rate (π). Since marginal tax rates are not reported in the SCF. is the annual inflation rate calculated using the CPI-U deflator. the property tax rate (τp ). I assume an annual rate of depreciation of d=0. Following Henderson and Ioannides [28]. The calculation of marginal tax rates is described in Appendix A. A few restrictions are imposed on the sample.12).12) This formulation assumes that homeowners claim tax deductions for property taxes and mortgage interest payments. r. is assumed to be the interest rate on treasury bills. ρ. The interest rate.015 for each of the sample years. households that neither rent nor own their homes are excluded for lack of information to cal18 .

A household is assumed to be a renter if it rents all or part of the farm/ranch/apartment/house/mobile home in which it lives. households with the highest 0.1 percentile of the weighted wealth distribution in the 1989. 209 and 193 were in the 0. 116. respectively. respectively. 1995 and 1998. I take the estimated earnings of the household head and the spouse at the age of 45 and an individual-specific effect.1 percent weighted wealth holdings in each wave of the SCF are dropped. The calculated expenditure of housing consumption (Eh ) A household is assumed to be a homeowner if (i) it owns the house/apartment that it lives in or owns it as a part of a condo. 317 and 309 households were neither renters nor owners and were dropped from the sample. respectively. 127. 1992. Therefore.3. 5 Of the remaining households. (ii) it owns both the mobile house and the site. 3.1 shows the summary statistics for all the variables used in the estimation. Table 2. The calculation of permanent income follows King and Dicks-Mireaux [40] and is described in Appendix A. 1995.2. 6 The SCF defines the head of the household to be the husband for all married households. to avoid the influence of extreme outliers on the regression.4 Second. The same pattern is true for permanent income (INCOME). 1995 and 1998. 1992. The variables are described in detail in Appendix A. a co-op or a townhouse association.900. As a proxy for permanent income.6 However. 183. both mean and median wealth (ASSET) have risen since 1992.5 The final sample consists of 13. marital status (MARRIED) and gender (FEMALE) of the household head and the fraction of homeowners (HOMEOWN).807 households in 1989. 4 19 . households with female heads are headed by single females. Sample demographics show the age of the household head (AGE). 3.culate housing expenditure. and 1998 SCF.509. or (iii) it owns part or all of the farm/ranch on which it lives on. 2. 214. most of which have not changed much over time. 1992. In 1989.989 observations.773 and 3.

was higher for homeowners in 1992 than in other years due to the decline in house prices in that year.4 percent of total assets in 1998. STOCK and RETIRE in 1998 offset the decline in HOUSE. the share for RETIRE increases sharply. 20 . VEHICLE and RESTATE. there is a steady growth in the portfolio share for STOCK and a steady decline in the portfolio share for RESTATE since 1989. The percentage of households with all children older than age 13 (CHAGE13) has stayed the same since 1992. wealth and children (the number of children living in the household) groups. followed by ACCOUNT.5 percent in 1998.75 in 1995 and stayed the same in 1998. but it rose to 13. HOUSE is the most important asset. Table 2. the composition of households’ portfolios reveals the importance of housing as an asset.2. The average number of children (NCHILD) living in the household declined from 0. The increases in ACCOUNT.2 presents interesting changes in household portfolio structures over time.7 percent of total assets in 1989 to 10. The first column shows the share of households in different income. First.3 percent in 1989 to 11. The second largest asset in the households’ portfolios is VEHICLE (18. Second.2 percent in 1995. This suggests that households have substituted financial assets for nonfinancial assets.2 percent in 1998 due to an increase in the portfolio share for saving accounts. Table 2. representing 39. age. As shown in Table 2. Assets in these accounts increased from 5.6 percent in 1998).3 presents housing expenditures of homeowners and renters in 1998. The portfolio share for ACCOUNT declined from 14.83 in 1989 to 0.

For renters. the expenditure on housing declines after the age of 65. wealth and the number of children in the household. in the remaining two columns of the table. The percentage of households who are homeowners increases with income.030 for renters. First. This is due to an increase in the value of residences and also to the tax deduction for property taxes and mortgage interest payments that decrease the opportunity cost of homeownership. for renters. reaching a peak among households with two children. Average housing expenditures for homeowners and renters are presented.9 percent.042 for homeowners and $6.4 shows the portfolio shares of assets that homeowners and renters hold.The second column indicates the percentage of each of these groups that are homeowners. accounting for 57. For homeowners.5 percent of total assets) followed by ACCOUNT (26. it declines after age 50.0 percent). The housing expenditures of renters and homeowners also increase with income. The first row of Table 2. VEHICLE is the third largest asset (7.000 and income below $50. renters spend more on housing than owners.000.5 show the household portfolio composition in 1998 by household permanent income. Tables 2. respectively. and the number of children. however.8 percent of total assets) following 21 .4 and 2. Since the primary residence is the largest part of homeowners’ wealth. It also increases with the number of children. For homeowners. wealth. wealth and the age of the household head. Among households with wealth below $250. The average housing expenditure is $7. VEHICLE is the most important asset held (41. age of the household head. there are marked differences in household portfolios of renters and owners.

accumulation in STOCK relative to other assets increases over age 65.4 also presents the life cycle patterns in household portfolios.7 percent are homeowners. the portfolio share for ACCOUNT almost doubles both for homeowners and renters over the age of 65 compared to 50-64 year old group.4. For homeowners. of the households with income below $15. the share of the portfolio allocated to RESTATE and for all households. Table 2. 42.3 and 2. among homeowners that have wealth exceeding $1 million. the fraction of households who are homeowners increases. Also. STOCK is the most important asset category with a share equal to 25. in contrast. First. as shown in Tables 2. RETIRE and RESTATE are almost equal for renters and owners. the share of the portfolio allocated to STOCK rise at a rapid rate with wealth. The portfolio shares for other assets such as STOCK. but they hold only 42.6 percent. This suggests that households with heads over age 65 substitute 22 .7 percent are homeowners holding 75.RETIRE (10. 86. For example.9 percent of their total assets in housing. portfolio composition of households with heads over the age of 65 differs considerably from other age groups’ portfolios. Another noteworthy finding is that the portfolio shares for STOCK and RETIRE for both homeowners and renters rise with income.2 percent of total assets while housing accounted for only 22. For higher levels of income.2 percent). Of the households with income above $100. For example. while the housing share of portfolio declines. we observe striking differences in the composition of portfolios by the level of wealth. Not surprisingly.6 percent of total assets in housing.000.000. Also. Several findings are worth noting.

liquid assets for nonfinancial assets. and table 2.5 reveal striking differences in portfolio structures across income. Children are likely to affect the portfolio structures in two ways. 60.9 percent for households with 2 children. Table 2. Also.3 percent for those with three or more children. the portfolio share for HOUSE declines with age among the households headed by persons below age 65. the relative changes in portfolio shares of assets by income. While portfolio composition differs considerably between renters and homeowners. Finally. Second.5 looks at the link between children and shares of assets in both renters’ and homeowners’ portfolios. and the second is their effect on asset shares of portfolios conditional upon ownership. but it stays steady after age 65. age and wealth are similar.5 shows the portfolio shares by the number of children living in the household. The results indicate that the number of children living in the household affects the portfolio shares for assets and 23 . and age groups.4 and 2.3 investigates the effect of children on the tenure choice. wealth. The portfolio share for owner-occupied housing increases with the number of children. The table indicates a strong relation between children and the share of portfolio allocated to housing. For example.0 percent of the wealth for households with no children. Tables 2. housing accounts for 56. Homeowners invest a smaller share of their portfolio in interest-bearing accounts and stocks with an increase in the number of children. and 65. Table 2. The first is their effect on the choice of tenure. the presence of children increases the share of the portfolio allocated to vehicles.

2.4 Estimation and Results The resulting set of equations constitutes an endogenous switching model in the form of a multivariate regression model.7 I exclude those households from the sample and correct for sample selection. and 106 in 1998 had zero wealth holding. The empirical model below investigates the effect of children on both asset shares and homeownership decision. STOCK. Moreover. Of 13. and the disturbance covariance matrix is singular. The other variables in X are chosen to be consistent with previous empirical studies. Then I solve for the parameters of OTHER from the other equations. permanent income and wealth in determining the asset shares in household portfolios.898 households. and RESTATE in the estimation of the model. 111 in 1992. Thus. Portfolio shares of the J + 1 assets and housing sum to one. OTHER. 100 in 1995. HOUSE. Age and age-squared of the household head are included to capture a possible change in portfolio behavior related to the life cycle. 24 . I drop one group of assets. the marital 7 93 households in 1989.the probability that a household owns a home. and include ACCOUNT. VEHICLE. 410 report zero wealth holding. Dummy variables indicating the number and the age of children living in the household are included in X. Previous research also indicates that a household’s marginal tax rate (MRT) has an effect on its asset allocation decisions. RETIRE. Portfolio choice theory has shown the importance of age.

status and the gender of the household head and willingness to undertake risky investments (RISKY) may also affect the household’s asset allocation. All variables that enter X are also included in Xc and Xh , with two exceptions. First, the marginal tax rate affects the tenure choice and homeowners’ expenditure on housing since homeowners can claim tax deductions for mortgage interest payments and property taxes. However, the marginal tax rate is not expected to affect the housing expenditure of renters. Thus, marginal tax rate is not included in Xc . Second, willingness to undertake risky investment does not enter Xc because it has an effect on the tenure choice regarding the investment motive but not on the expenditures on rental housing. In addition, the vector Xh includes the race of the household head. Table 2.6 presents the estimates of the probit model of equation (2.9). The estimates of the homeownership equation are consistent with previous studies. As a household’s permanent income rises, the probability of homeownership increases. Age of the household head increases the probability of ownership until age 74. The coefficients for WHITE and MARRIED are significant and positive, indicating that at the sample mean, households with white heads are 10.2 percent more likely to own than households with non-white heads, and those that are married are 26.1 percent more likely to own than those that are not. The coefficients on the variables showing the number of children are positive and significant. Households with one child are 6.3 percent, and those with two children are 10.8 percent, more likely to own relative to households with no children. The probability of owning starts to decrease 25

after the second child, household with three or more children are only 9.6 percent more likely to own relative to households with no child. The probability of being a homeowner also increases with the household’s marginal tax rate, suggesting that the tax-deductibility of property taxes and mortgage interest is more valuable at a higher marginal tax rate. Tables 2.7- 2.10 show the coefficients and the standard errors for each of the seven asset equations and the housing expenditure equation for homeowners. Permanent income has significant but small marginal effects on the structure of homeowners’ portfolio. The share of the portfolio allocated to RETIRE, HOUSE and VEHICLE increase with income, while the share allocated to ACCOUNT, STOCK and RESTATE decreases with income. Higher levels of wealth are associated with higher shares in ACCOUNT, STOCK, RESTATE, OTHER, and lower shares in HOUSE and VEHICLE. The marginal effect of wealth on the share allocated to STOCKS, HOUSE and RESTATE is large. A 10 percent increase in assets would increase the share of the average portfolio allocated to STOCK by 0.62 percentage point. A similar increase in assets would induce 1.25 percentage point decrease in HOUSE and 0.66 percentage point increase in RESTATE. Age is an important determinant of portfolio shares in a homeowner’s portfolio, and the results in Table 2.7 and 2.8 reveal a quadratic relationship in terms of age. Portfolio shares for RETIRE, HOUSE and RESTATE increase with age, reaching a peak at the age of 50, 63 and 50, respectively. Portfolio shares for ACCOUNT and STOCK, however, decrease with age until the age of 26

50 and 43, respectively. This relation between age and portfolio shares suggests that the structure of a household’s portfolio changes when the household head reaches middle age. For example, households headed by persons above the age of 45 start substituting liquid assets for nonfinancial assets such as HOUSE and RESTATE. The coefficients on the number and age of children suggest that the presence of children plays a significant role on the portfolio structure of homeowners’. Several results are of particular interest. First, relative to households with no children, households with one child have a 5.6 percent higher portfolio share of HOUSE, controlling for age and permanent income. Similarly, households with two and three or more children have 8.9 and 9.2 percent greater portfolio shares in HOUSE. Second, the portfolio shares for ACCOUNT, RETIRE, and VEHICLE decrease with an increase in the number of children. Controlling for the number of children, households with all the children older than age 13 hold a smaller portfolio share in HOUSE and a greater share in VEHICLE and RESTATE. Finally, homeowners that are willing to undertake risky investments hold a greater share of risky financial assets, such as STOCKS and RETIRE, and a smaller share of less risky assets, such as ACCOUNT and HOUSE. All other things held constant, the portfolio shares allocated to ACCOUNT and RESTATE have declined in 1998. Households have substituted STOCK, RETIRE and VEHICLE for the other asset categories since 1995. An increase in the marginal tax rates leads to an increase in the portfolio share allocated 27

The effect of children is less pronounced for renters than for homeowners. and a lower share for VEHICLE. STOCK.7-2. It leads to a decrease in the share allocated to ACCOUNT.0 percent higher in renters’ portfolio. For these assets. More permanent income is associated with a higher share for ACCOUNT. the share for ACCOUNT decreases.10 report coefficients of the selectivity variables. RETIRE and HOUSE for homeowners are all statistically significant. Tables 2. RESTATE and OTHER and a decrease in the share for ACCOUNT and VEHICLE. Since 1995. for example. renters have shifted toward RETIRE in their portfolio.11) for renters. Tables 2. The portfolio share for RETIRE increases with age until the age of 58. homeownership would not have the same effect on renters. should they choose to buy homes. Selfselection occurred in households’ tenure choice. and the share for VEHICLE is significantly higher for households with three or more children. respectively. Compared to 1989. RESTATE and OTHER. As renters have two or more children. An increase in total assets leads to an increase in the share for STOCK.to HOUSE and VEHICLE.9 and 2. The estimates of the Mills ratios for renters are significantly different from zero 28 . while the portfolio share for ACCOUNT and STOCK decreases until the age 40 and 43. the 1998 portfolio share for RETIRE is 5. The coefficients on the selection terms in equations for ACCOUNT.10 present the estimates of the equations (2. RETIRE and RESTATE. The quadratic relationship observed between the shares of assets in homeowners’ portfolio and the age of the head holds true for the financial assets in a renter’s portfolio.

On the other hand. After the second child.10 present the estimates of the housing expenditure equation.11 presents the estimates of shares for assets that a typical homeowner holds. RETIRE. The housing expenditure of homeowners increases 8. The age of the children in the household has no effect on the housing expenditure of renters nor homeowners.2 percent. the expenditure on housing increases with the number of children. the significance and the same sign of the selection terms indicate that self-selection occurred in a hierarchical sorting: the positive selectivity bias indicates that those who own a house spend less compared to average household had it chosen to own.3 percent with the second child.for ACCOUNT. but the number of children has no effect on renters’ expenditure. the negative selectivity bias for renters’ implies the reverse: renters spend less on housing compared to average household of the sample had it chosen to rent.8 and 2. and RESTATE. This implies that other than in regards to these three assets. I mean a household headed by a white married. all of the children in the household are younger 29 . I use the estimated coefficients and the variables of the model to calculate the portfolio share for each asset by the number of children and the age of the household head. For homeowners.9 percent higher housing expenditure than homeowners with no child. The last two columns in Tables 2. By a typical household. there were no significant differences in the average behavior of the two groups prior to home purchase. Table 2. For both renters and owners. Homeowners with one child have 11. having more children increases the housing expenditures of homeowners by only 3.

At all ages. First. Using a 30 . The portfolio shares of assets calculated in Table 2.160) and permanent income ($46. 2. conditional on the tenure choice. As the household head reaches middle age.than age 13. 1995 and 1998 SCF. children change the demand for each asset. 1992. this chapter investigates how the number and the age of children living in the household influence the portfolio composition of households. The household head is willing to take risky investments and holds mean wealth ($188. and its importance in the portfolio increase with the number of children living in the household. VEHICLE is the second most important asset in the portfolio when the household head is 30 years old. an increase in the number of children increases the probability that a household owns a home. The chapter examines the impact of children on the homeownership decision and the constraint of consumption demand for owner-occupied housing. Second. One contribution of this chapter is to study the effect of the portfolio constraint imposed by the consumption demand for housing on the portfolio shares in housing and other assets.5 Conclusion Using the 1989. The number of children has a negative effect on the portfolio share for RETIRE.690) and has a 15 percent marginal tax rate.11 include both of these effects. HOUSE is the most important asset. children have two effects on the portfolio structure of households. more is invested in RETIRE. As mentioned above. and the share allocated to RETIRE becomes the second largest in the portfolio.

and the portfolio share for housing increases.S. the portfolio share for financial assets such as interest-bearing accounts and retirement accounts decreases. As homeowners have more children. the policies that change the cost of housing and affect ownership decision influence not only the portfolio share for owner-occupied housing but also the portfolio share for retirement assets. The results show that the number of children living in the household has a significant effect on the tenure choice and on the housing demand of homeowners. for households with children. Considerable research has focused on whether U. An important implication of the findings of this chapter is that the constraint imposed by the consumption demand for housing decreases the share of portfolio allocated to retirement wealth as the number of children in a household increases. Since households cannot separate the level of consumption of housing services from their investment in housing as an asset. households are saving enough for retirement. the chapter compares the determinants of portfolio allocation of homeowners to that of renters.switching regression model that takes into account the consumption demand for housing. However. the ratio of housing to total assets increases as the number of children increases. One direction for further research is to include the liabilities and bor31 . This result suggests that. Therefore. the ratio of retirement accounts to total assets in renters’ portfolios does not significantly decrease with the number of children. the consumption demand for housing is higher than the investment demand.

rowing constraints of households into the model of portfolio choice. Most households finance their home purchases with mortgage debt. The impact of children on the portfolio share for housing may be an important determinant of household mortgage debt. 32 .

5 0. 1989-1998.658 222.28 0.75 0. 2) All dollar values are reported in 1998 dollars.664 6.12 0. All variables are defined in Appendix A.97 48.3 0.684 92.985 6.59 0.50 3.75 0.61 3.8 0.59 0.509 0.900 0.11 0.28 0. 33 .28 0.27 0.51 2.65 0.319 50.158 0.525 101.660 12. permanent income and net worth.97 48.2.328 206.151 203.64 0. The text defines total assets.59 0. Notes: 1) Tabulations are weighted using sample weights.83 0.12 0.815 258.1: Descriptive Statistics by Year 1989 Income and Assets INCOME ASSETS (Mean) ASSETS (Median) MRT Eh Demographics AGE MARRIED FEMALE NCHILD CHAGE13 HOMEOWN RISKY Number of observations % with positive wealth 1992 1995 1998 47.66 0.968 46.164 0.750 0.55 3.773 0.191 92.80 0.58 0.054 49.65 0.154 0.Table 2.97 48.695 47.97 Source: Survey of Consumer Finances.829 116.807 0.131 5.9 0.14 0.

and OTHER. 1989-1998.043 0.059 0. HOUSE.415 0.072 0.105 0.068 0.059 0.072 Source: Survey of Consumer Finances.132 0. VEHICLE.094 0. RETIRE.043 0.047 0.394 0.076 0.197 0.410 0.432 0.076 0. RESTATE.050 0.196 0.Table 2. 34 .208 0.143 0.130 0.057 0.053 0. 2) The text defines the assets called ACCOUNT. Notes: 1) Tabulations are weighted using sample weights.186 0.2: Mean Asset Shares by Year 1989 Portfolio Shares ACCOUNT STOCK RETIRE HOUSE VEHICLE RESTATE OTHER 1992 1995 1998 0. STOCK.067 0.112 0.

29 68.72 14.72 78.183 7.04 5.90 19.973 6.79 64. 2) HH represents all households.078 7.3: Expenditure on Housing.843 9.391 Source: Survey of Consumer Finances.587 95.883 Above $100K 8.69 3.976 7. 35 .12 80.09 64.69 4.54 5.43 9.741 7.438 8.489 32.42 78.866 4.293 $15-30K 22.486 95.22 64.042 6.78 7.400 5.26 21.065 7.24 86.38 29.Table 2.081 $30-50K 29.72 3.456 11.29 4.024 6.03 21. 1998.22 7.195 5.08 22.16 12.90 12.002 6.803 8.555 93.55 6. HO represents homeowners and RR represents renters.93 1.378 $50-100K 29.546 80.49 36.89 6.081 6.748 Age Under 35 35-49 50-64 Above 65 Wealth Below $50K $50K-100K $100K-250K $250-1000K Above 1000K Children CHILD0 CHILD1 CHILD2 CHILD3 22.645 61.46 14.564 5.677 6.847 15.263 5.17 15. 1998 Eh 1998 dollars %HH %HO HO RR All households 100 66.35 42.764 6.77 67.475 5.46 72. Notes: 1) Tabulations are weighted using sample weights.40 34.496 6.931 6.030 Income Below $15K 10.50 51.28 9.

089 0.072 0.205 0.270 0.073 $250-1000K 0.147 0.172 0.064 0.149 0.011 0.083 0.065 0.055 0.042 $50K-100K 0.086 0.080 0.061 0.040 35-49 0.078 0.256 0.090 $30-50K 0.389 0.645 0.158 0.112 0.062 0.054 $100K-250K 0.485 0.080 0.127 0.453 0.192 0.293 0.260 0.213 0.025 0.086 0.078 0.151 0.056 0.221 0.401 0.157 0.010 0.015 0.046 0.049 0.052 0 0.019 0.041 0.287 0.061 0.047 0.750 0.055 0.251 0.046 0 0 0 0 0 0.109 36 All households Income Below $15K 0.415 0.022 0.066 $50-100K 0.190 0.097 0.759 0.535 0.122 0.049 0.049 0.054 0.102 0.166 0.454 0.087 0.132 0.004 0.579 0 0.587 0.694 0.039 0 0.092 0.032 0.413 0.608 0.022 0.135 0.071 0.183 0.445 0.212 0.122 0.238 0.090 0.088 0.089 0.201 0.Table 2.069 0.630 0.040 0.091 0.181 0.047 0.234 0.436 RESTATE HO RR 0.111 0.295 0.149 0.143 0.490 0.071 0 0.075 Age Under 35 0.002 0.056 0.101 0.730 0.128 0.021 0 0.4: Mean Asset Shares.019 0. .489 0.374 0.091 0.028 0.020 0.199 0.165 0.068 0 0.014 0 0.559 0.093 $15-30K 0.091 0.028 0.074 0.050 0 0.082 Above 1000K 0.047 0.541 0.077 0.162 0.051 0.111 0 0.083 0. 1998 ACCOUNT STOCK RETIRE HOUSE VEHICLE HO RR HO RR HO RR HO RR HO RR 0.018 0.075 continued on the next page.031 0.062 Above $100K 0.017 0.007 0.359 0.068 0.135 0.281 0.047 0.226 0.107 0.033 0.112 0.137 0.043 0 0.027 0.162 0.062 Above 65 0.129 Wealth Below $50K 0.059 0.064 0.048 50-64 0.252 0.

038 0.044 0.088 0.019 0.038 0. Notes: 1) Tabulations are weighted using sample weights.609 0. The text defines the assets called ACCOUNT.495 0.560 0. 1998: Continued ACCOUNT STOCK RETIRE HOUSE VEHICLE HO RR HO RR HO RR HO RR HO RR RESTATE HO RR 0.577 0.512 Children CHILD0 CHILD1 CHILD2 CHILD3 37 Source: Survey of Consumer Finances. 3) HO represents homeowners and RR represents renters.061 0.055 0.087 0.110 0.222 0.045 0.052 0.653 0 0 0 0 0.087 0.074 0. RETIRE. HOUSE.070 0.040 0.062 0.5: Mean Asset Shares.102 0.098 0.373 0.471 0.044 0.049 0.200 0. 1998. 2) All dollar values are reported in 1998 dollars.040 0.089 0.Table 2.026 0.288 0.195 0. and RESTATE.098 0.122 0.115 0. STOCK.032 0.117 0.069 0.044 0.085 0. VEHICLE.048 0. .

38 .046 0.404 0.052 ** 0.047 ** 0.030 ** 0.042 ** 0.287 0.052 0.261 0.341 0.044 ** 0.153 ** 0.096 0.108 0.304 0. and * indicates significance at 5 percent level.050 CONSTANT AGE AGE2 /100 MARRIED FEMALE CHILD1 CHILD2 CHILD3 CHAGE13 INCOME/10.102 -0.063 0.005 ** 0.049 ** 0.174 0.2.000 0.193 0.041 * -0.014 -0.143 0.010 2.137 ** 0.005 ** 0.072 0.030 0.080 0.747 0.004 ** 0.6: Results from Probit Estimation HOMEOWN Coefficient Standard Errors Marginal Effects -4.118 0.085 0.579.040 ** -0.029 -0. 2) Variables are defined in Appendix A.210 0.007 0.137 0.040 -0. The number of observations N=13.053 0.Table 2.000 MTR RISKY WHITE YEAR92 YEAR95 YEAR98 Notes: 1) ** indicates significance at 1 percent level.034 ** 0.

003 0.013 0.003 -0.001 0.021 0.022 0.005 0.004 0.432 0.077 0.003 -0.056 0.007 -0.009 0.010 ** * ** continued on the next page.016 0.006 -0.033 0.003 -0.004 -0.092 0.063 0.007 0.004 0.002 ** L ASSET 0.007 0.007 -0.515 0.003 0.020 0.006 0.013 0.031 * STOCK Coef SE -0.019 0.006 ** FEMALE 0.003 ** YEAR92 -0.029 0.001 0.012 0.021 0.027 0.063 0.001 0.003 0.003 -0.002 -0.006 -0.004 0.005 0.009 0.007 ** CHAGE13 -0.016 0.002 0.002 -0.018 ** RISKY -0.089 0.062 0.007 0.067 0.008 0.009 0.002 0.307 0.054 RETIRE Coef SE -0.006 -0.007 0.087 0.001 * MTR -0.010 0.024 0.002 0.001 -0.008 0.003 ** YEAR95 -0.004 0.023 0.001 -0.009 0.000 0.006 -0.027 0.008 0.004 0.001 0.020 0.003 0.003 ** YEAR98 -0.115 0.000 0.007 -0.004 0.001 ** AGE2 /100 0.023 0.190 0.112 0.001 0.032 0. .008 0.002 -0.010 0.006 0.020 -0.005 0.020 -0.069 -0.005 0.455 0.001 0.001 0.005 CHILD1 -0.005 0.024 0.001 ** MARRIED -0.031 0.006 * CHILD2 -0.012 0.063 0.125 0.006 -0.013 0.005 0.004 0.021 0.006 L INCOME -0.005 0.003 -0.026 0.021 0.023 0.039 VEHICLE Coef SE 0.006 0.003 0.003 -0.003 0.010 0.007 -0.061 0.002 -0.008 0.005 -0.198 0.029 0.026 0.008 -0.002 0.006 0.004 0.013 0.049 HOUSE Coef SE 1.007 0.007 0.037 0.008 0.018 ** MR:+ wealth -0.006 0.005 -0.001 -0.002 0.006 0.004 ** MR:home -0.010 0.001 0.021 0.011 -0.398 0.009 0.Table 2.002 0.7: Results: Asset Shares and Housing Expenditure of Homeowners ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** 39 ** ** ** ** * * ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** * ** ** ** * ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** * ** ACCOUNT Coef SE CONSTANT 0.010 0.006 ** CHILD3 -0.024 0.059 0.007 -0.056 0.011 0.054 ** AGE -0.027 0.006 0.008 0.049 0.009 -0.

119 0.015 0.008 CHAGE13 0. and * indicates significance at 5 percent level.246 0.019 0.005 -0.004 0.204 0.005 -0.006 -0.023 0.177 0.068 0.002 -0.015 -0.004 -0.002 0.004 -0.010 0.015 0.023 0.024 0. VEHICLE.008 0.052 0.036 0.018 0.003 -0.393 -0.011 ** 0.2.005 -0.001 -0.568 0.120 ** ** ** ** ** RESTATE Coef SE CONSTANT -0. and OTHER.025 MR: + wealth 0. The number of observations N=10.005 ** MR:home -0.007 ** * * 1.001 0.008 0.003 0.009 ** CHILD1 -0.007 * L INCOME -0.8: Homeowners: Continued ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** 40 log Eh Coef SE * -0.066 0.003 ** L ASSET 0.025 -0.Table 2.036 Notes: 1) ** indicates significance at 1 percent level.021 0.018 0.008 ** CHILD3 -0. 2) The text defines the assets called ACCOUNT.005 YEAR98 -0.025 0.002 0.008 0.002 0.024 0.017 0.004 -0. STOCK.017 0.017 0.202 0.234 0.006 0.002 ** MTR -0.014 0.001 0. All variables are defined in Appendix A. RETIRE.005 * YEAR95 0. RESTATE.025 0.189 0.004 0.010 0. MR represents Mills Ratio.025 ** RISKY -0.007 0.584 0.503 0. .025 0.004 0.001 0.010 0.004 0.018 -0.043 0.000 0.116 0.005 YEAR92 0.049 -0.004 0.001 ** MARRIED -0.002 ** 2 AGE /100 -0.307 0.001 0.032 0.008 CHILD2 -0.004 0.009 FEMALE -0.003 0.004 -0.053 OTHER Coef SE -0.001 0.002.002 0.094 0.181 0. HOUSE.080 ** AGE 0.158 0.220 0.012 0.

059 0.014 YEAR95 -0.022 L INCOME 0.001 0.026 -0.039 STOCK Coef SE -0.008 0.243 0.050 0.030 0.022 0.007 0.020 0.019 ** CHILD3 -0.014 0.019 0.097 -0.011 0.064 ** 0.061 0.038 * MR:+ wealth 0.025 0.109 0.019 -0.010 0.003 ** AGE2 /100 0.9: Results: Asset Shares and Housing Expenditure of Renters ** ** ** ** ** ** ** * ** ** ** ** ** ** * ** ** ** 41 ACCOUNT Coef SE CONSTANT 0.002 ** MARRIED -0.021 ** FEMALE 0.029 0.006 0.014 MR:home -0.014 0.381 0.017 0.001 0.012 0.002 ** 0.052 0.015 -0.080 0.008 -0.012 0.001 0.015 0.793 0.033 0.037 RETIRE Coef SE ** -0.020 -0.014 0.032 0.012 YEAR92 -0.017 0.014 0.120 0.039 0.024 0.243 -0.054 0.068 0.086 0.048 -0.026 0.021 0.019 0.103 -0.004 -0.010 0.035 VEHICLE Coef SE 2.019 0.014 ** 0.079 0.003 0.011 ** 0.010 0.018 0.011 -0.013 0.009 0.005 0.070 0.015 0.204 0.019 0.021 ** CHAGE13 -0.173 AGE -0.003 0.008 -0.023 0.027 0.053 ** continued on the next page.059 0.015 -0.079 * RISKY 0.000 0.038 0.000 0.018 0.130 0.016 0.015 0.015 * YEAR98 0.007 0.026 -0. .Table 2.007 0.002 0.001 0.035 0.017 CHILD2 -0.077 0.017 0.028 0.319 0.074 0.033 0.013 * CHILD1 -0.023 0.285 0.004 0.010 0.014 0.154 ** 0.072 0.089 0.002 0.034 0.015 0.004 ** MTR 0.001 0.001 -0.029 0.008 0.019 0.027 0.013 0.002 ** -0.006 -0.004 0.003 0.005 0.005 0.031 0.051 0.011 0.014 ** L ASSET -0.

014 0.014 -0.004 0. 2) The text defines the assets called ACCOUNT.030 0.012 CHILD3 -0.10: Renters: Continued ** ** 42 log Eh Coef SE 4.030 0. .073 ** 0.044 0.014 CHAGE13 -0.Table 2.021 0.001 0.035 0.005 ** -0.035 -0. MR represents Mills Ratio.011 0.083 0.004 0.062 0.010 L INCOME 0.109 0.130 * AGE 0.030 0. HOUSE.022 0.020 0.001 0.012 0. RESTATE.334 0. All variables are defined in Appendix A.069 0.018 0.002 -0.029 0.577.011 CHILD2 -0.003 -0.001 0.008 RISKY 0.073 * ** ** ** OTHER Coef SE 0.007 0.014 0.2.011 0. RETIRE.005 0.033 ** MR: + wealth -0.020 0.173 0.012 0.125 -0. The number of observations N=3.004 0.061 0.005 0.017 0.001 0.580 0.005 0.010 * YEAR98 -0.027 0.022 0.014 -0.045 0.010 CHILD1 0. VEHICLE.038 ** Notes: 1) ** indicates significance at 1 percent level and * indicates significance at 5 percent level.038 0.118 0.009 YEAR92 -0.004 0.032 0.017 0.003 -0. STOCK.011 -0.102 0.315 0.024 MR: home 0.006 ** ** RESTATE Coef SE CONSTANT -0. and OTHER.033 -0.189 0.002 0.365 -0.014 0.017 0.110 0.001 0.042 0.002 * MARRIED 0.036 0.020 -0.015 FEMALE -0.014 -0.067 0.014 -0.003 ** L ASSET -0.020 0.000 0.002 2 AGE /100 -0.064 0.010 0.038 0.030 0.037 0.038 0.009 * YEAR95 -0.016 0.054 MTR -0.004 -0.365 0.001 0.285 -0.

607 0. 43 .055 0.11: Portfolio Shares for Assets by the Number of Children and Age CHILD0 AGE=30 ACCOUNT STOCK RETIRE HOUSE VEHICLE RESTATE AGE=40 ACCOUNT STOCK RETIRE HOUSE VEHICLE RESTATE AGE=50 ACCOUNT STOCK RETIRE HOUSE VEHICLE RESTATE 0.030 CHILD2 CHILD3 0. RETIRE.036 0.105 0.054 0.611 0. VEHICLE.534 0.058 0.038 0.590 0.049 0.043 CHILD1 0.037 0.096 0.122 0.128 0.094 0.602 0.Table 2.049 0.120 0.056 0.088 0.111 0.063 0.132 0.047 0.100 0.053 Notes: The text defines the assets called ACCOUNT.095 0.023 0.089 0.103 0.033 0.040 0.047 0.093 0.086 0.055 0.064 0.053 0.057 0.617 0.079 0. STOCK.090 0. HOUSE.064 0.043 0.044 0.056 0.061 0.552 0.626 0.141 0.043 0.642 0.650 0.036 0.102 0.594 0. and RESTATE.049 0.058 0.099 0.048 0.114 0.101 0.047 0.112 0.038 0.043 0.577 0.070 0.044 0.

[32] and Carroll [9]. 44 . As an extension to the traditional life-cycle model. however. these models are able to explain some of the empirical consumption puzzles. the standard life-cycle model suggests that households smooth consumption and spread resources across periods of high and low income.1 Precautionary saving models predict that uncertainty about future income may cause households to reduce their current consumption in order to raise their stock of precautionary saving.Chapter 3 The Effect of Precautionary Motives on Household Saving and Fertility 3. Kimball [39]. Skinner [48]. empirical work on the strength of precautionary saving has provided mixed evidence. consumption profiles over age are hump-shaped. Hubbard et al. Deaton [15] and Browning and Lusardi [6] give a list of empirical puzzles.2 For example.1 Introduction Many recent studies have recognized the role of precautionary motives on household saving behavior. Yet. In many household-level data sets. Dynan [18] and Starr-McCluer [50] find lit1 2 See Zeldes [58]. Carroll [8] shows that this kind of consumption profile is consistent with a precautionary saving model in which individuals face uncertainty about their future earnings. tracking the ageearnings profile.

See Browning and Lusardi [6] and Carroll et al. household income or the age of the head might affect household saving and fertility simultaneously.3 One problem that has not been mentioned in the literature is that all of these empirical models try to explain the effect of income uncertainty on household savings. precautionary motives. whereas Carroll and Samwick [11]. and incorporating the restrictions of the theoretical model. and bequest motives. the life-cycle motive includes saving for children’s education. finding an appropriate instrument. that is. given precautionary and other motives. finally.tle or no evidence for precautionary motive. and. the precautionary motive includes saving to protect the well-being of children against income fluctuations. ignoring the effect of uncertainty on household composition. Yet the causal effect might go in the opposite direction. [10] for the details. Most of a household’s saving motives can be grouped into one of three categories: life-cycle motives. [12] and Lusardi [44] find more support for the precautionary motive. [10] suggest that the mixed results might be due to the difficulties in empirically testing for precautionary saving. 3 45 . the bequest motive includes saving to leave assets to children. This chapter takes account of the fact that children are endogenous along with the The problems include proxying certainty. By examining the implications of uncertainty on the fertility decisions of households and incorporating fertility decisions into household saving decisions. For example. It seems reasonable that these motives are affected by the presence of children. fertility might be affected by uncertainty or income fluctuations. this chapter extends the empirical work on precautionary saving. Furthermore. Browning and Lusardi [6] and Carroll et al.

the effect of income uncertainty on fertility over the life-cycle. Table 3. Most life-cycle fertility models incorporate some types of uncertainty.1 percent. buying a home and education of childrenas the most important reasons for saving in the 1983 SCF (data come from the panel of 1983-89 SCF and is discussed at length in section 3. and saving for the education of children peaking between age 31-40. namely. respectively. 46 . all of the four reasons reveal a hump shape: saving for ‘rainy days’ peaking in the 41-50 age group.3). When disaggregated into age groups. More than 32 percent reported that ‘rainy days’ were an important motivation for saving. saving for retirement peaking between age 51 and 60. This suggests that the relative importance of saving for each motive depends highly on the composition and the life-cycle stage of the household.1 presents the proportion of households citing the following motives -‘rainy’ days.saving behavior when estimating the effect of children on savings. The second most frequent reason was saving for retirement. This chapter also addresses a neglected topic in the childbearing literature. The most frequently reported reason for saving was to increase resources for ‘rainy days’ such as unemployment and unexpected needs. saving for a home purchase peaking below age 31.4 For example. retirement. The proportion of households citing saving for children’s educational expenses and home purchase were 5. with 18 percent. [30] for a survey of life-cycle fertility models.7 and 4. Wolpin [57] estimates a dynamic stochastic model of fertility within 4 See Hotz et al.

5 Hotz and Miller [31] integrate the life cycle fertility and labor supply. this chapter can be viewed as a combination of those two prior works. However. and does not affect savings of the rest of the population. Using the data from the panel of 1983-89 SCF. there is evidence that income uncertainty has a direct effect on fertility and family size. Yet the prediction of the precautionary view of savings is not validated: income uncertainty actually reduces savings of households with either high or low wealth holdings.6 This chapter examines whether income uncertainty is associated with lower fertility and higher savings. None of these studies. treating children as a durable good the demand for which is found to respond to increases in unemployment risk (like other durable goods in Dunn. however. In a study that addresses whether unemployment risk is an important factor in the timing of the purchase decision of durable goods. I find that households with higher income uncertainty are less likely to have a child. the time path of the husband’s income. have specifically analyzed whether uncertainty about earnings is a significant factor on the choice of whether or not to have a child. This chapter also examines whether having a child has an effect on Wolpin [57] presents a model in which income is stochastic but his model also assumes that households have quadratic utility. and thus the variance of income does not appear in the decision function. The finding is consistent with previous studies that found little or no effect of precautionary motive on savings. 6 Becker [1] suggests that children can be viewed as durable goods yielding psychic income to the parents. Dunn [17] finds consumers respond to increases in the unemployment risk by postponing purchases of a home or a vehicle.an environment where infant survival is uncertain. and consider a number of uncertainties such as the outcome of the contraceptive effort. and transitory shocks to the wife’s wage. Thus.) 5 47 . even after controlling for the fact that saving is endogenous to the fertility behavior.

household savings. The results show that having a child appears to reduce savings of households with young heads and to increase savings of those with middle-aged heads. The remainder of this chapter is organized as follows. Section 3.2 examines both the theoretical and the empirical model. Section 3.3 describes the data set and the variables used in the empirical work. The empirical results are reported in Section 3.4, and a summary of the findings with conclusions are provided in Section 3.5.

3.2

The Relationship between Fertility and Saving
Households are assumed to maximize a lifetime utility function that is

additively separable over time. The utility of household i at age t depends on the number of children, Mit , and a composite consumption good, Cit :
T

U=
t=0

β t U (Mit , Cit )

(3.1)

where β is the discount factor and T is the time of death. The household faces two decisions at each period: whether to have a child, and how much to consume. If parents give birth to a child at age t, then ∆CHILDit = 1, and = 0 otherwise. The number of children at age t, Mit , is the sum of all births until age t. The household is able to borrow and lend across time periods at a real interest rate. Savings at age t, Sit , depend on the household income, the cost of consumption good, and the cost of children. The household income is assumed 48

to be stochastic. Thus the household faces uncertainty about future income. Depending on the utility function, income uncertainty can affect the fertility and consumption decisions of the household. This utility maximization problem, in general, is intractable and does not deliver closed-form solutions without imposing structural assumptions concerning the utility function. This makes deriving testable implications impossible, even for a two-period model. The construction of the model, however, shows how fertility and saving decisions can be determined simultaneously. The lack of testable implications from the theoretical model allows me to examine a general form of saving and fertility behavior. For the empirical specification, I assume that the level of savings of a household i at time t, (Sit ), is a linear function of the variability of the household’s income (Φit ), birth of
s a child (∆CHILDit ), and a set of observable variables (Xit ) that measure s the life-cycle stage of the household. The matrix Xit includes the number of

children living in the household, permanent and transitory income and other household demographics. Permanent income is defined as the expected income for year t conditional on the demographics of the household, and transitory income is defined as the difference between realized and expected income for year t. Savings of a household i at time t can be thus represented as:
s Sit = γ0 + Φit γ1 + ∆CHILDit γ2 + Xit γ3 + u1it

(3.2)

where γ0 , γ1 , γ2 and γ3 are the parameters to be estimated, and u1it is an error term representing unobservable variables. 49

The precautionary saving model predicts that saving is increased by a combination of a positive third derivative of the utility function and uncertainty about the future income. Therefore, a positive value for γ1 is implied by a utility function with a positive third derivative (as with constant absolute risk aversion (CARA) or constant relative risk aversion (CRRA) utility functions). For a quadratic utility function (for which the third derivative is zero), saving behavior does not respond to income variability, and in this case, γ1 should be zero. The life-cycle model suggests that a household that gives birth to a child at time t saves less (due to an increase in necessary consumption). Households with younger heads may save even less with an additional child because their current (expected) income is less than the annuity value of their lifetime income, and the difference between their income and expenditure is even greater. Such a model suggests γ2 should be negative, and the coefficient of the interaction of ∆CHILDit with the age of the household head should be positive. The childbearing decision of a fecund household is specified as a function of Φit and a set of household specific variables that affect the preferences
c for a child, Xit . A household is considered to be fecund if the wife is younger

than age 49 or if the head of the household is a female younger than age 49. The decision to have an additional child is represented as
c ∗ ∆CHILDit = η0 + Φit η1 + Xit η2 + u2it

(3.3)

50

3 Data The data set used for estimation is the 1983 and 1989 panel of the SCF. where η0 . then they should also reduce their ‘consumption’ of children. liabilities.3).where ∗ ∆CHILDit = 1 if ∆CHILDit > 0 = 0 otherwise. The 1983 SCF interviewed a 51 . income and characteristics in 1983 and 1989. and η1 should be negative. The model is estimated using a two- stage estimation procedure described in Maddala [45]. I restrict the sample to the fecund population and get an estimate γ2 of γ2 by using the ˆ probit ML method for the equation (3. Note that the model is identified even if u1it and u2it are not independent s c and Xit includes all the variables in Xit . If consumers react to increases in uncertainty by cutting down their consumption. η1 and η2 are parameters to be estimated. This implies that households with higher income variability are less likely to have a child. Maddala [45] shows that the resulting estimates of the coefficients are consistent. as suggested by the precautionary saving model. 3. First. Then I estimate the equation (3.2) by OLS for all of the sample after substituting γ2 for γ2 for the fecund population ˆ and 0 for the other households. and u2it is an error term representing unobservable variables. This data set contains detailed information on household assets.

stocks. home equity. In addition to a standard multi-stage area probability sample. call accounts. Keogh accounts. loans. business equity. money market deposit accounts. 7 52 . substantial inconsistencies are observed between reported net investments in assets and measured changes in holdings. bonds. trusts. See Kennickell and Starr-McCluer [37] for a general description of the 1983-89 panel. mutual funds. Total liabilities include mortgage debt.7 Household saving is derived as a first difference in net worth between 1983-89. which makes it difficult to distinguish between active and passive saving. However. Total assets is the sum of financial assets and nonfinancial assets. other loans for property. automobile loans. The 1989 SCF also asked households to report major changes in asset holdings since 1983. and 361 of them were reinterviewed in 1989. individual retirement accounts. vehicles and other real assets like art and precious metals. which will be called SAVE1. includes capital gains. Net worth (NWORTH) is the total value of household’s assets minus its total liabilities. cash value of life insurance and the later includes residential property. and this amount is divided by six to get the annual household saving.sample of 4. saving accounts. An oversample of 438 high-income households came from this list in 1983. credit card debt. balances outstanding on lines of credit and loans on consumer durables. This information could be used to exclude both realized and unrealized capital gains. The 1983 SCF consists of a dual sample. 103 households and 1. other real estate. certificates of deposit and saving accounts). 497 of them were reinterviewed in 1989. The first saving measure. a list sample was drawn from tax information provided by International Revenue Service. where the first includes liquid assets (checking assets.

and 1985 are drawn from the 1986 wave of SCF which was conducted with a large subset of 1983 respondents using a shorter questionnaire. ‘In [the preceding calendar year] how much was the total income you (and your family living here) received from all sources. I kept the value of the primary residence constant. dummies representing asset holdings in 1983. Using the panel dimension of income observations in the data.8 Income values for 1982. The income measure comes from the question. 1987 and 1988 are drawn from the 1983-1989 panel. The precautionary saving model predicts that income risk regarding capital income might have a different effect 53 . I define two measures of income uncertainty. 8 9 Income uncertainty at- Of the 4. before taxes and other deductions were made?’ Income of the households for 1983.The inconsistency seems to be lower for home purchases (Kennickell and StarrMcCluer [38]). I adjusted SAVE1 as follows to obtain a measure called SAVE2: whenever a household did not buy or sell a house that was the family’s primary residence. 1984. To remove the predictable component of income growth. 1986. I regress log income on age. The first measure assumes that households have knowledge about their future income and expect their income to change over time as household characteristics change. To exclude the capital gains. All values are converted to 1989 dollars using the Consumer Price Index Research Series Using Current Methods(CPI-U-RS). household demographic variables and age-interaction terms. education. 2. year dummies. 9 The income measure includes both capital and non-capital income. 103 households in the 1983 SCF. 822 were reinterviewed in 1986 using a shorter questionnaire.

10 Household permanent income (PERINC) is defined as the mean of predicted income over the seven year period. finding an appropriate instrument on household saving behavior than that of earnings.tributed to each household is equal to the variance of residual log income (VRLI) for the 1982-88 period. education and industry. is the coefficient of variation of log income. In addition. The second measure of uncertainty is the variance of log income for the 1982-89 period (VLI). variability measures like VLI and VRLI might be poor proxies for uncertainty. The mean of the reported income over the 1982-88 period (MEANINC) is also used as another measure of income. which is not reported in this chapter. households probably expect their income to change over time and know when some of these changes will happen.11 This measure assumes households have no information to forecast future income aside from their current income. 54 . 10 Female labor supply decisions are correlated with household fertility decisions. I control for the employment status of the spouses and female heads in the earnings regression. 1986 and 1989. while transitory income (TRANSINC) is the mean of residuals from the earnings equation. However. Not excluding such expected changes biases this VLI measure of uncertainty upward. However. using instrumental variable estimators is not useful when the first stage instruments are poor. this information is only available for 1983. The empirical results hold true for this measure too. As pointed out in Lusardi [44] and Browning and Lusardi [6]. Unfortunately. 11 Another income variability measure. VRLI may suffer from the same deficit if income change is due to a factor that the household has information about but is not controlled for in the income regression. Therefore. Most studies use instrumental variables for the uncertainty proxy using information on occupation. Dummies representing the amount of assets that households hold by 1983 are included in the regression to control for this effect.

Of the remaining 1. households that experienced a change in composition such as marriage. 000. The final sample consists of 1.12 To calculate an accurate measure of income uncertainty.e. The sample selection criteria for the sample are as follows.180 households. However. 299 households out of 1. See Kennickell and Starr-McCluer [37] for details. The variable ∆CHILD indiThe cut-off net worth of $10 million and saving of $600. 12 55 . 035 households with the heads between the age of 22 and 88 in 1983. 13 The sample design in 1983 specifically excluded households with the heads under the age of 22.13 Table 3..2 illustrates the composition of the sample in detail. those households with more than three missing or non-positive income values are dropped. divorce.) This eliminates the income variability or net worth change caused by family separation or family creation. separation or the death of either head or spouse are excluded. I also exclude those households with net worth greater than $10 million in 1983 or 1989 or for whom the absolute value of the change in net worth per year is more than $600. 84 were dropped because of outlying net worth or saving values and 66 were dropped because of missing income values. A household is only included in the analysis if it remained intact between 1983 and 1989 (i. In the panel 1983-89 SCF. Therefore. this exclusion or a similar one is necessary when working with means which are affected by outliers. 000 is somewhat arbitrary. I use VRL and VRLI without an instrumental variable estimator.1.to exclude for identification is problematic. All variables are described in detail in Appendix B.479 experienced a major change in family composition and were dropped from the sample.

respectively.0 percent had three. have higher expected income and have a higher number of young (0-6 years old) children in 1983. I use a probit model and a dummy variable to indicate the fertility choice instead of using a count data model.e.with and without an additional child . i.6 percent of the fecund households had a child between 1983 and 1989.611 in 1983. fecund households are faced with higher income uncertainty than the rest of the sample.3 percent had two children and 1. According to the SCF data. Fecund households are headed by younger persons.cates the fertility of the household between 1983 and 1989.179 less than the mean net worth of the rest of the fecund houseOnly 3. 18. Columns (3) and (4) of Table 3.2 provides the variable means by household fertility of the fecund households. had less net worth in 1983. ∆CHILD = 1 if the household experienced at least one birth of a child. which is $37.1 percent). Therefore. and saved more compared to the other households in the sample. 14 56 .14 I refer to the households that had a child as households with an additional child. Columns (1) and (2) provide the variable means and standard deviations of all of the households in the sample and the fecund households. Among fecund households. Most of the differences in net worth and saving between the two groups can be attributed to the fact that these two groups are at different stages of their life cycles.. comparisons across the two groups of households . Also.are plausible: households with an additional child are younger. The average net worth for households with an additional child is $82. but had higher income between 1983 and 1989. mostly married (89.3 percent of the families experienced more than one birth during that time period-2.

Households in the bottom 25 and top 10 percent of the SAVE2 distribution face higher income variability than the rest of sample.8 percent in 1989. 170 and $8. 000. On the other hand. from 67. 690. households with an additional child saved more than the rest of the fecund sample. Uncertainty estimates are greater for households with mean income below $10. respectively. we observe that households who had a child are faced with lower income uncertainty (0. the increase is insignificant. 000 and above $60. when we compare the income uncertainty of the two groups.191).7 percent in 1983 and rose to 77. The same argument is true for net worth and SAVE2: households in the bottom 25 and top 10 percent of the net worth distribution in 1983 have the highest income variability. while fecund households without an additional child saved $7.holds. 462. The homeownership proportion for the rest of the fecund sample is higher in 1983 but compared to the households with an additional child.0 percent in 1983 to 72. Also. According to SAVE1 and SAVE2. When households are grouped by SAVE1. 648 and $6. The remarkable difference in the housing tenure choice of the two groups shows the link between the decisions of having a child and purchasing a house. the bottom 25 percent of the distribution faces a lower income variability than the households in the 25-50 percent of 57 . The measures of income uncertainty by household characteristics are given in Table 3. This suggests that households at the tails of the income distribution face higher uncertainty.5 in 1989. they saved $11.132 versus 0.3. The homeownership proportion among households with an additional child was 53.

income and income uncertainty by childbearing decisions and the age of the household head. regardless of how savings were measured. Households who had a child between 1983-89 are different from other households in terms of their saving. The right-hand variables include factors that are expected to affect the demand for a child. 3. versus 16 percent of the households with heads between age 31-40. When grouped according to the number of children. Difference between the savings of households with and without an additional child increase as the age of the household head increases.4 represents household saving. Almost 36 percent of the households with heads below age 31 in 1983 had a child during the following six year period. 0 otherwise. For other SAVE1 groups. 58 .5 shows the results of the probit analysis of the fertility de- cision of the fecund sample. income and income variability. the estimates of income uncertainty decrease as the number of children living in household in 1983 increases. regardless of the uncertainty measure. Households that had a child save more. The dependent variable is ∆CHILD = 1 if the household had a child between 1983-89. and their permanent income is higher. income uncertainty is lower except the top 10 percent of the distribution. Table 3.4 Estimation and Results Table 3. for whom it reaches its highest value. Considering the income uncertainty. households with young and middle age heads that had a child face lower income variability. and 1 percent among the age 40 and above group.the SAVE1 distribution.

respectively. The coefficient of age is highly significant and negative. indicating that being one year older reduces the probability of having another child by 1 percent.1 increase in VRLI and VRL decreases the probability of having a child by 0. whereas older households with small children are more likely to experience another birth. number of adults living in the household (NADULT).namely. A married household is 8 to 10 percent more 59 . race of the household head (WHITE).6 percent. middle (MIDDCH) and older (HIGHSCH) children in 1983 and the interaction terms for age (AGE83×HOWN83 and AGE×YOUNGCH). The analysis in column (1) uses VRLI as the income uncertainty measure and permanent and transitory income as the income measures. a household income measure (MEANINC. number of young (YOUNGCH). marital status (MARRIED). The probability of having another child is lower for a household that has a full-time working spouse or that is headed by a white person. The signs of the age interaction terms imply that older homeowners are less likely to have a child. Evaluated at the sample mean values. a dummy indicating whether spouse works full time at paid employment in 1983 (SPFULLT). PERMINC and TRANSINC). homeownership in 1983 (HOWN83). column (3) uses VRLI and mean income. age (AGE).5 and 0. column (2) uses VLI and mean income and finally. The results in table 3. an income risk measure (VRLI and VLI). the probability of having another child declines with income variability (regardless of the measure) and the number of children in each age group living in the household.5 show that other things being equal. a 0.

Estimates of the saving equations are presented in tables 3. transitory income in column (1) has a negative effect and mean income in column (3) is insignificant.7 for SAVE1 and SAVE2. The top 10 percent and bottom 25 percent net worth holdings in 1983 are included to address the saving behavior of the wealthy and the not wealthy. the change in the number of adults between 1983-1989 (∆NADULT). age of the head (AGE).6 and 3. namely. both permanent income and mean income in columns (1) and (2) are significant. Columns (1)-(3) in tables 3.6 and 3.5. the behavior of the wealthy and the not wealthy are different than the rest of the population. the probability of having a child seems to increase with income. However.7 use the same income and uncertainty measures as columns (1)-(3) in table 3. ∆CHILD. age interaction terms (AGE×NCHILD and age×∆CHILD) and income uncertainty interaction terms (VRLI (VRL)×NWORTH25 and VRLI (VRL)×NWORTH90). the number of adults and children living in the household (NADULT and NCHILD). the income uncertainty interaction terms show whether or not . Finally. a dummy indicating having 1983 net worth in the top 10 percent and bottom 25 percent (NWORTH90 and NWORTH25). is included as a right-hand variable with other factors that might affect the saving behavior. in terms of the effect of uncertainty.likely to have another child. The predicted probability of having a child. a measure of income uncertainty (VRLI and VRL). income (PERMINC. 60 . TRANSINC and MEANINC). a self-described expectation to leave a bequest (BEQUEST83). compared to households headed by an unmarried person. Similarly.

However. For example.500 less than the rest of the population whereas households in the bottom 25 percent of the wealth distribution save $3.6.000 more than the rest of the sample. Before we examine the effect of children on savings. around $7.132-$8.500 less than the rest of the population as a result of an increase in income uncertainty. which is 0.162 save about $15.34.447. respectively.7 do not the support the idea that households save a higher fraction of transitory income. which is 0. Saving also increases with income.6 show that households in the top 10 percent of the wealth distribution and with VRLI of 0. evaluated at the sample average of VRLI. regardless of the measure. Income uncertainty reduces savings of the households in the top 10 percent and bottom 25 percent of the wealth distribution and does not affect the rest of the population. Changes in the number of adults between 1983 61 .24 in column (1) of Table 3. Having 1983 net worth in the top 10 percent is associated with higher levels of SAVE1 and SAVE2 in all specifications. The results in Table 3. The estimated coefficient of the propensity to save out of transitory income is 0.6 and SAVE 2 in Table 3. the results in Table 3. households in the top 10 percent of the wealth distribution save almost $11.6 and Table 3. and it is significantly lower than the estimated propensity to save out of permanent income. let us look at the effect of the number of adults living in the household.162.The results for two measures of savings are quite similar (SAVE1 in Table 3. Both SAVE1 and SAVE2 reduce with the number of adults living in the household.7).

555-$12. households expecting to leave a bequest save significantly more (around $12. age does not affect the savings behavior of those without children.and 1989. Controlling for the number of children already living in the household. however. When we control for permanent income as in column (1) of Tables 3. The overall effect of having an additional child on household savings depends on the age of the head: households with heads younger than age 29 save less compared to households with heads age 29 and older. we observe that the effects of the children and age interaction terms decrease but do not disappear. This result highlights the importance of the interaction between household composition and the age of the household head. Households with children save less when the household head is below age 35 and save more above that age. Having an additional child reduces savings. Also. and the fertility decision is modeled as an endoge- 62 . The same is true for the number of children living in the household. do not affect SAVE1 but appear to reduce SAVE2.7.796 more) than household that do not expect to leave a bequest. That is another impact of children on household savings. This chapter also estimates average savings of households who did not have a child between 1983-89 and compares it with what they would have saved if they had chosen to have a child. however being one year older and having an additional child increases savings. For this.6 and 3. the sample is restricted to only fecund households.

implying that younger households save less whereas older 15 See Maddala [45] for the models with self-selectivity. I take into account the fact that fertility decisions are endogenous to household saving decisions. depends on the age of the household head. average SAVE1 of the households that did not have a child is around $12. The direction of the response.6. This finding suggests that the overall effect of children on household saving is negative. even after controlling for several demographic characteristics.8.133 according to the results of the three regressions in Tables 3.nous switching model. however. changes in the number of children and children already living in the household reveal a significant effect on household savings. Overall.5 Conclusion This chapter estimates the effect of the precautionary motive on house- hold fertility and savings by relating income uncertainty to the changes in the number of children and household net worth. Finally.15 The results are given in Table 3. 3. In estimating this effect.695-13. 63 . Income uncertainty actually decreases savings of the households with high or low wealth holdings and does not affect the saving behavior of the rest of the population. The empirical results suggest that income uncertainty directly affects the probability of having a child. The results show that households would have saved around $2.066 less if they had chosen to have a child.297-4.

After controlling for the number of children living in the household and the expectation of leaving a bequest.households save more with an increase in the number of children. Household composition is an important factor of life-cycle savings. The main finding of this chapter is consistent with the life-cycle theory of saving and consumption. the findings are not consistent with the predictions of the precautionary saving model that agents faced with uncertainty about future income increase their savings. 64 . At the same time. the age effect on savings disappears.

1983 All By Age Below 31 31-40 41-50 51-60 61-70 70 and over Rainy Days Retirement Home 0.206 0.289 0.000 0.011 0.345 0. Observations are weighted to reflect the U.111 0. Notes: The table reports the proportion of households citing the selected motives as the most important reason for saving as ‘rainy days’.S.362 0.122 0.017 0.230 0.323 0. 1983-1989.176 0.273 0.057 0.047 0.117 0.326 0. Number of observations: 1035.047 0.383 0.041 Children 0.250 0.192 0.Table 3.004 0.065 0.000 Source: Survey of Consumer Finances. buying home and education of children respectively.016 0. population as a whole.010 0.052 0. 65 .1: Saving Motives by Age Groups. retirement.

891 0.1.6 13.001 0.162 0.8 12. 66 .780 0.189 38.516 2.845 0.537 0.132 0.289 0.778 0.424 0.747 0.460 0.180 0.092 2. All variables are described in Appendix B.186 2.795 0.788 0.372 0.169 Fecund HH ∆CHILD = 0 8282 7648 6868 6462 43109 44122 40171 39921 112861 119790 36.120 0.670 0.487 0.624 0.297 0.135 0.791 1.151 N 1035 509 422 87 Note: ∆CHILD=1 if the household had a child between 1983 and 1989 (0 otherwise). All dollar values are in 1989 dollars.725 0.112 2.4 13.Table 3.437 0.456 0.9 0.407 0. Observations are weighted using the sample weights. The table reports means of the variables.652 0.334 0.2: Descriptive Statistics by Household Fertility Decision SAVE1 SAVE2 MEANINC PERMINC NWORTH AGE EDUC WHITE MARRIED NCHILD YOUNGCH MIDDCH HIGHSCH ∆CHILD NADULT BEQUEST HOWN83 HOWN89 VRLI VLI All HH 7699 6080 37668 36339 140628 45.7 0.672 0.490 0.767 1.1 0.191 0.938 0.734 0.246 0.4 0.197 ∆CHILD = 1 11170 8690 38852 41210 82611 30.1 12.302 0.055 0.537 0.645 0.725 0.556 0.

3376) VLI 0.7 0.4881) (0.490-7.0 0.1056 0.2 0.4940) (0.3980) Above $24.1468 0.2738) (0.2920 0.492 10.2740) (0.1808) (0.0 0.4963) 0.446 15.5066) 1 Child 17.5245) 0.2290 0.0988 (0.0 0.433) 0.0 0.1707 (0.6786) (0.3524) (0.2330 (0.1363 (0.2713 (0.056 25.2269) (0.1855 (0.232 25.3362 0.1 0.4780) $ 10.000-59.0 0.265 25.1715 (0.5836) (0.1.2657) Above $60.126-24.0 0.3334) $52. 67 .0977 (0.233-12.0 0.000 12.0 0. All variables are defined in Appendix B.3279) SAVE1 Below (-$1.1095 0.2579) $7.518-314.078) 25.999 36.2210) (0.125 25.0 0.057-30.078)-1.1527 (0.1996) (0.999 37.5530) NCHILD No Children 55.3234 (0.1912 0.2973) Note: Standard deviations are given in parentheses.0902 (0. and VLI is the variance of log income.1462 (0.9431) (0. VRLI is the variance of residual log income.Table 3.726.2117 (0.0 0.1451 0.426) MEANINC Below $10.5512) SAVE2 Below (-$739) 25.2281 (0.1312 (0.1794) Above $30.1088 (0.10.1184 0.000 14.818 10.446 10.1194 (0.0 0.1559 0.0 0.4232) $10.0 0.2642) $30.1269 (0.2299 0.1296 (0.1832 (0.1803 0.2013 0.0 0.162 (0.6504) $10.1436 0.2274) (-$1.0998 0.265-52.9087) NWORTH Below $10.1889 (0.169 (0.0 0.4472) (0.0 0.7 0.1330 0.6357) (0.2374 (0.2449) (0.1479 (0.2391 (0.3: Mean Income Uncertainty by Household Demographics % HH VRLI All 100 0.1027 0.2825) (0.2086) Above $314.2134 0.1 0.2 0.1284 (0.3230) $127. Observations are weighted using the sample weights (N=1305).3333) (0.000-29.1716 (0.489 25.725 25.2458) 0.6129) (-$739)-1.2371) $1.492 15.2171) 2 and more 27.7517 25.5537) $ 1.818 15.4092) (0.

1369 0.1774 0.5 24.422 0.1727 3.1 4.1408 0.1507 20.390 52.2376 VLI 0.8 10.3064 0. 68 .1.331 23.477 40.220 34.636 27.769 0. VRLI is the variance of residual log income.2920 6.487 0.619 3.884 36.1839 0.049 5.9 11.5 4.899 0.Table 3.3 8.4: Savings.0812 0.812 6.628 0. All variables are defined in Appendix B.2261 Note: ∆CHILD=1 if household had a child between 1983-1989 (0 otherwise). Income and Income Uncertainty by Age and Fertility AGE Below 31 ∆CHILD 0 1 31-40 0 1 41 and above 0 1 %HH SAVE1 SAVE2 PERMINC VLRI 12.272 9.0841 56. and VLI is the variance of log income.528 4.912 0.257 43.

5: Probit: Fertility Decision of Fecund Households (2) Coef StdE 1.331 HIGHSCH -0.208** 0. .000 0.14 0. YAGE is YOUNGCH×AGE.178** 0.175** 0.068 YOUNGCH -1.154** 0.130 0.0001] [ 0.225** 0.020** [-.0577] (3) Coef StdE 1.166** 0.420 YAGE 0.0550] [-0.749** -0.0095] [-.024** 0.Table 3.130** 0.062 -160.073 SPFULLT -0.385** 0.31 0. and HAGE is HOWN83×AGE.020** -0.232 HAGE -0.0541] -0.019** 0.543 0.0625] -0.35 0.024** Note: Coef reports coefficients and StdE reports standard errors.047 [-0.886** 0.130** 0.20 Pseudo R2 0.0008] [-.063 0.953** 0.714 NADULTS 0.3338] [-0.1041] [-0.0845] [-0. Marginal effects are given in the brackets.565 1.060 [-0.024** 0.3340] [-0.448 0.623** 0.564 HOWN83 2.627** 0.0786] [-0.886** 0. Number of observations N=509.001 1.0675] -0.1040] [-0.001 MEANINC/1000 MARRIED 1.134 0.31 0.0613] 0.1297] [ 0.0594] 69 CONSTANT AGE VLRI VLI PERMINC/1000 0.060 -160.131 0.203** (1) Coef StdE 1.980 -0.236 [-0.001 1.409 0.366 -0.627** 0.0612] [0.021** -0.384** 0.00 0.0001] [ 0.000* 0.2375] -2.0844] [-0.019** 0. ** indicates significance at 5 percent level.175** 0.0099] [-.060 -2.357 0.049 Likelihood -152.0426] -0.768 0.0829] [-0.998 -0.0553] [-0.0920] 1.047 -0.0787] [-0.063 0.369 [-0.368 -0.0094] [-.392** 0.397 0.545 0.369 -0.027** 0.077 0.132** 0.566 [-0.229 -0.208** 0.418 0.001** 0.228 WHITE -0.225** [-.1037] [-0.1038] [-0.186** [-.844 MIDDCH -0.720* -0.001* [ 0.006 TRANSINC/1000 -0.717* -0.154** 0. and * indicates significance at 10 percent level.410 0.389 0.

and * indicates significance at 10 percent level. ** indicates significance at 5 percent level.Table 3.6: Regressions of SAVE1 on Income Uncertainty with Endogenous Fertility Decision (1) Coef StdE 19212 19254 2250 2252 343 3520 26829 12463 ** -21824 6015 ** -71146 29321 ** 2180 2441 -500 3222 36903 11508 ** -464 3230 37290 11447 ** -22195 5914 ** -71517 28439 ** (2) Coef StdE 15228 19373 (3) Coef StdE 15240 19296 2258 2365 70 -208 294 -134139 93086 4256 3304 343 102 ** 240 59 ** -7554 3838 ** -22542 11934 * 646 320 ** 12654 5751 ** -7664 5177 .22 ** ** ** ** ** Note: Coef reports coefficients and StdE reports standard errors.22 257 53 -7244 3908 -24818 11791 707 319 12952 5786 -7845 5112 .22 -21218 5702 ** -63955 26900 ** -131 306 -131 305 -185235 83042 ** -186203 83131 ** 6412 2952 ** 6474 2950 ** CONSTANT VRLI VRL NWORTH25 NWORTH90 VRLI× NWORTH25 VRLI× NWORTH90 VLI× NWORHT25 VLI× NWORHT90 AGE ∆CHILD AGE ×∆CHILD PERMINC TRANSINC/1000 MEANINC/1000 NADULTS NCHILD AGE× NCHILD BEQUEST83 ∆ NADULT R2 255 53 ** -7132 3916 ** -24479 11818 ** 698 319 ** 12916 5780 ** -7860 5120 * . Number of observations=1.035. .

Table 3. Number of observations=1.18 223 57 -8264 3929 -24089 11699 686 319 11736 5772 -10074 5321 .18 Note: Coef reports coefficients and StdE reports standard errors.18 -19347 5780 ** -53719 26977 ** -161 306 -160 305 -175653 82756 ** -177076 82940 ** 6075 2966 ** 6149 2969 ** ** ** ** ** * CONSTANT VRLI VRL NWORTH25 NWORTH90 VRLI× NWORTH25 VRLI× NWORTH90 VLI× NWORTH25 VLI× NWORTH90 AGE ∆CHILD AGE×∆CHILD PERMINC/1000 TRANSINC/1000 MEANINC/1000 NADULT NCHILD AGE× NCHILD BEQUEST83 ∆NADULT R2 221 56 ** -8168 3935 ** -23842 11737 ** 679 320 ** 11712 5766 ** -10090 5329 * .7: Regressions of SAVE2 on Income Uncertainty with Endogenous Fertility Decision (1) Coef StdE 23200 19365 1501 2042 712 3511 24093 12070 ** -20171 6222 ** -61036 29489 ** 1583 142 32041 2137 3237 11432 ** 182 3244 32484 11382 ** -20204 6023 ** -60981 28519 ** (2) Coef StdE 17753 19528 (3) Coef StdE 17718 19448 1550 2091 71 -257 293 -126939 91894 3945 3267 292 100 ** 210 63 ** -8479 3843 ** -21818 11811 * 624 320 * 11545 5760 ** -9888 5374 . and * indicates significance at 10 percent level.035. ** indicates significance at 5 percent level. .

133 12.154 10.672 8. 72 .527 10.8: The Effect of a Change in the Fertility Decision on SAVE1 Fecund HH E(SAVE1|∆CHILD=0) E(SAVE1|∆CHILD=1) N (1) (2) (3) 13.375 422 422 422 Notes: E(SAVE1|∆CHILD=0) denotes average SAVE1 of the households that did not have a child between 1983-1989 and E(SAVE1|∆CHILD=1) denotes average SAVE1 of the households had they chosen to have a child.695 12.Table 3.

According to the 1987 NPSAS. for those in the higher income group (income above $70. While the percentage was lower for those in the lower income group (income below $35. Using the 1983-86 SCF. First. Understanding the effect of financing children’s college education on household saving behavior is important at least for three reasons.000) it was 98 percent (Presley and Clery [47]). and 80 percent reported using some current income. about 65 percent reported using some previous savings. and the average amount of their support was about $3.Chapter 4 Saving for Children’s College Education 4. parents contribute a significant amount to their children’s college costs.000). 65 percent of the parents contributed a positive amount to their children’s college costs as a gift.900 (Choy and Henke [14]). Of those contributing to their children’s college costs. Gale and Scholz [23] estimate that the annual flow of parental 73 .1 Introduction The purpose of this chapter is to analyze an important life-cycle saving motive: saving for children’s college education. 90 percent of dependent undergraduate’s parents contributed to their children’s college costs. According to the 1996 National Postsecondary Student Aid Survey (NPSAS).

5 billion. According to Edlin [19] and Feldstein [22]. Dick and Edlin [16] use data on financial aid awards to calculate a marginal tax rate and find that families with children attending average-priced colleges face a financial aid tax ranging from 2 percent to 16 percent. which is 12 percent of the aggregate net worth in 1983.contributions totaled about $35 billion. Dick and Edlin [16] and Long [43] have recently examined the adverse effect of the means-tested student aid process on household asset accumulation. Long [43] finds that the effect of the financial aid tax on asset holdings is smaller than the effect in the prior literature.441. as shown in Long [43]. anticipated college costs and the amount of aid that is received and so on. families who save for college reduce their eligibility for financial aid. the financial aid tax rate on capital income can be as high as 50 percent. contributions to children’s education yield a wealth of $1. Feldstein [22]. 74 . To date. Edlin [19]. Using the data on actual expenditures on children’s college education. Gale and Scholz [23] convert the flow of college support to a stock of wealth using steady-state assumptions. the results in Edlin [19] and Feldstein [22] depend on a variety of assumptions such as the number of children enrolled in college. However. Second. According to their estimation. The college financial aid system imposes an implicit tax on the savings of households that are potentially eligible for financial assistance. Using alternate but also plausible assumptions. the focus has been on calculating the financial aid tax and measuring its negative impact on household asset accumulation. this chapter examines the effect of anticipated educational expenses on household savings.

which are measured by children’s income and years of schooling. Without unequal access to schooling. Specifically. The estimates in Tomes [53] confirm the prediction of the quantity-quality model that bequests and children’s income are negatively related to family size. and test predictions of their model using the veterans sample of white male twins and the sample of their adult offspring. Behrman et al. with and without equal access to financing for education. different forms of parental expenditure such as children’s schooling. In the empirical investigation of this model. child care and bequests have been used as the qualitative measure.Third. Steelman and Powell [51] investigate the relationship between the structure of the sibling group and parental financial support for children’s college education. [3] develop a model relating children’s schooling to family size. they analyze the influence of size and ordinal position of siblings on the like- 75 . Using the National Longitudinal Survey of the High School Class of 1972. the quality-quantity model of fertility behavior assumes that parents have preferences both for the expenditure per child and the number of children. Tomes [53] empirically tests whether parental bequests of wealth and human capital investments represent substitute forms of parental transfer. they find an inverse relationship between family size and children’s schooling. The estimates in Tomes [54] show that family size and children’s schooling are jointly determined. The results of his model confirm that investments in children’s human capital. The analyses in Willis [55] and Becker and Lewis [2] show that parents with few children have substituted quality for quantity. are negatively related to subsequent levels of inheritance.

respectively. 2 See Browning and Lusardi [6] for a survey of the literature. ordinal position alters parental support in favor of later-born children. bequests. Saving for children’s education is the third most important saving motive after saving for retirement and ‘rainy days’ and accounts for 9. It would be of interest to investigate this effect on the level of parental support using the information on household savings.1 percent of gross saving.2 percent of gross saving. Moreover. saving for ‘rainy days’ and saving for bequests and inter vivos transfers.7 and 28. an analysis of financing college education and family size highlights an important aspect of the quality-quantity model. A number of studies have analyzed motives for saving such as saving for retirement. This chapter also uses the amount of parental expenditure on children’s college education as a measure of child quality. education and so on. Their findings also show that the importance of each saving motive depends on the age and the life-cycle stage of the household. The results of their analysis show that retirement and precautionary motives account for 25. Horioka and Watanabe [29] analyze the amount of gross saving and dissaving for each of twelve motives including saving for retirement. Steelman and Powell [51] argue that later-born children are more favored relative to earlier-born ones due to the family life cycle.lihood and amount of parental support. using Japanese household data.2 In addition. Their results show that the number of siblings significantly decreases both the likelihood and amount of parental contribution to children’s college education.1 Given the rapidly rising cost of college tuition. 1 76 . Parents have more resources when later-born children reach college age. The data set used in the chapter does not provide information on the ordinal position of the child attending college. emergencies.

income fluctuations and bequests have motivated substantial research. The sample includes households with nonretired heads and spouses (The SCF and restrictions on the sample are discussed in Section 4.’ is the most cited reason. One exception is Souleles [49]. Souleles [49] examines consumption of households as they pay for the college expenses of their children. The last column of Table 4. Other reasons for saving include saving for ordinary living expenses.Although saving for retirement.1 shows the percentage of households reporting that they cannot or do not save. and buying durable household goods. medical and dental expenses.3 percent list education as the most important reason for saving.3).’ home purchase and children’s education. His results show that households smooth their consumption into the academic year and do not cut their consumption in the 6-9 months before the academic year starts. Using the Consumer Expenditure Survey. 15. buying a home and other reasons as the most important reason for saving. saving for ‘rainy days. Among the households saving for retirement. The table provides the responses of the sample used in this chapter. 77 . taking vacations and so on. Table 4.5 percent of households list ‘rainy days’ as the most important reason for saving. The SCF contains a question that asks the household’s most important reason for saving. His findings are consistent with the life-cycle theory of consumption and saving. While 35. ‘rainy days’ (emergencies and unemployment).3 percent list retirement and 5. ‘rainy days.1 shows the percentage of households in the 1983 survey citing retirement. education of children. the motive of saving for children’s education has not been much investigated.

the effect of the number of children on the percentage of households reporting saving for children’s education disappears.1 also shows the percentage of households citing each saving motive by the number of children and net worth in 1983. The percentage of households in the 25-75 percentile of the wealth distribution citing ‘rainy days’ as the most important saving motive is higher than the percentage of households in the lower and higher wealth groups. among households with 1 or 2 children.4 percent in the top 25 percentile report saving for retirement. Among the households in the bottom 25 percentile of the wealth distribution. 5. An almost equal number of households with one or two children and with three or more children report saving for children’s education as the most important reason. the percentage of households saving for retirement increases with wealth. Controlling for the number of children.7 percent of those in bottom 25 percentile of wealth distribution report saving for retirement. while only 2.3 percent vs. the percentage of households citing ‘rainy days’ and other reasons as the most important reason decreases.’ retirement and other reasons show a systematic trend relative to the total number of children. a higher percentage of the households with one or two children report saving for children’s education than those with three or more children (8.8 percent). This table shows that the number of 78 . Table 4. and the percentage of households citing retirement as the most important reason increases. For example. 24.The percentage of households saving for ‘rainy days. As the number of children increases. Among the households in the higher wealth groups.

I introduce life-cycle savings into the quality and quantity model of fertility and derive predictions concerning the effect of expected educational expenditures on household savings.000 more than it would had it not expected to have any college expenses. In this chapter. The results are consistent with the predictions of the Life-Cycle Theory of saving and consumption that households save in advance for children’s college expenditures. Further. Using the actual college expenses reported in the SCF.children has a significant effect on saving motives. I also obtain predictions concerning the simultaneous determination of family size and college expenditures per child. We continue to observe this effect even after controlling for the household wealth. The remainder of this chapter is organized as follows. the effect of anticipated educational expenses on household savings are estimated. The results show that an increase in the number of children decreases the per child college expenditures paid by households by approximately by $317 in 1986 dollars. Households with higher income and wealth expect to have higher educational expenses. households save for their children’s college expenditures. the empirical findings provide an answer to why saving is concentrated among wealthier households. The data from the 1983-86 SCF is used to estimate two equations in which the dependent variables are household savings and educational expenses. a household with a 43 year old head expecting to have $2. Other things constant.2 an79 . and they save in advance for these expenses. Section 4. Also. and the amount of savings increases with the age of the household head.000 in children’s college expenses saves $8.

n) subject to c1 = y1 − A c2 = y2 + (1 + r)A − πen 80 (4. Section 4. second-period consumption. For simplicity.5 estimates the determinants of college expenditures and uses these estimates to investigate the effect of expected college expenditures on household savings.2 A Model of Saving for College This section considers a world in which individuals (parents) live for two periods. per capita college investment is assumed to be equal for all n children. Section 4.3 describes the 1983-86 SCF. c2 . In the second period.1) . Parents choose first-period consumption. Section 4. chooses to have n children. In the first period. 4. and the number of children to maximize U = U (c1 .2) (4. a summary and conclusions are presented in Section 4.6. and the family consumes together c1 and saves A to earn interest at the rate of r. e. the return on accumulated assets (1 + r)A and second period wage income y2 are divided between consumption c2 and paying for children’s college education e.alyzes a model of the quality-quantity interaction of fertility with household savings.4 provides a framework for the empirical analysis of the interaction between savings and college expenditures. a couple earns y1 . investment to each child’s education. Finally.3) (4.

which results in an increase in accumulated assets. Ue is the marginal utility of children’s education. n) (4. a decrease in second-period consumption is likely to decrease the first-period consumption.1) yields the following unconstrained maximization problem: U = U (y1 − A. This expression implies that an increase in educational expenses decreases the second-period consumption relative to first-period consumption.5) (4.2) and (4.4) where the three choice variables are accumulated assets (A).8) where γ is the elasticity of substitution.3) into (4. Since the right-hand side is a constant.7) where U1 and U2 are the marginal utility of consumption in the first and second periods.where π is the price of education. y2 + (1 + r)A − πen (4. and Un is the marginal utility of family size.5) can be written as follows: 1 y1 − A = (1 + r) γ−1 . y2 + (1 + r)A − πen. The first-order conditions are −U1 + (1 + r)U2 = 0 −πnU2 + Ue = 0 −πeU2 + Un = 0 (4. respectively. educational expenses (e) and the number of children (n). Substituting (4. 81 .6) (4. If the utility function is CES with equal elasticity of substitution between all arguments. equation (4. e.

E1 [U2 ] exceeds U2 [E1 ]. let us assume that the second period wage income y2 is stochastic. In this case. The empirical specification of the model described below controls for precautionary saving while it estimates the effect of educational expenses on household savings. This interdependence implies an inverse relationship between the number of children and educational expenses. then U2 is a convex function. This condition shows that greater uncertainty is linked to greater saving in the first period when the third derivative of the utility function is positive.6) and (4. household saving can be associated with two different saving motives: saving for uncertainty about future income (precautionary saving) and saving for children’s education. 3 82 . If the third derivative is positive. The interaction of the quality and quantity dimensions of choice is reflected in the fact that the marginal costs of education and family size depend on the level of each other in equations (4.To extend the analysis to account for uncertainty. Solving the consumer’s problem yields the following equation −U1 + (1 + r)E1 [U2 ] = 0 where E1 represents the expected marginal utility of consumption in the second period conditional on all information available in first period.3 The combination of a positive third derivative of the utility function and uncertainty about future income reduces consumption in the first period. When uncertainty about future income is assumed.7).

The college expenditure variable is the outlay of college education per child. The 1983 survey contains interviews from a random sample of 3. including those not living in the household. The fertility variable (CHILD) is the number of children of either the respondent or spouse. The SCF contains detailed information on household assets. 4 83 .4. The respondents were also asked how many years of college their children completed from 1983-85.4 The college expenditure variable (COLLEXP) captures the quality dimension associated with the expenditure per child. In 1986.824 households and a high-income supplement of 438 households. Household savings are measured in two ways. the data does not differentiate between children away in college or living on their own and with former spouses.822 of these households were reinterviewed. The variables used in the empirical analysis are classified into four groups: fertility. I use the number of children attending college and the number of years they attended to normalize college expenditures. The first measure. savings and other control variables. liabilities. income and demographic characteristics. college expenditure. In 1986. Unfortunately.3 Data The empirical analysis uses data from the 1983-1986 SCF. respondents were asked if they had any children attending college from 1983-85 and if they had any college expenses on the behalf of their children. This variable includes children of previous marriages living with former spouses. 2. SAVE1.

credit card debt. stocks. Using the reported household income for 1982. 1984 and 1985. I estimate household permanent and transitory income. trusts. the value of the primary residence in 1983 is kept constant. Total liabilities include mortgage debt. race. automobile loans. Keogh accounts. education. Transitory income (TRINC) Total assets is the sum of financial assets and nonfinancial assets. business equity. and the educational level of the spouse.5 SAVE1 includes the realized and unrealized capital gains. 1983. other real estate. where the first includes liquid assets (checking assets. Household permanent income (PERINC) is defined as the predicted income in 1985 obtained from regressing the log of total income on age. marital status. These are age. home equity. educational expenditures and fertility decisions. Whenever a household did not buy or sell a house that was the family’s primary residence. gender of the household head and other household characteristics. certificates of deposit and saving accounts). In order to exclude unrealized capital gains on the primary residence. loans. saving accounts. a second measure of savings (SAVE2) is used. balances outstanding on lines of credit and loans on consumer durables. 5 84 . Other controls include variables that affect savings. Net worth (NWORTH) is the total value of household’s assets minus its total liabilities. race. reasons for borrowing and saving. individual retirement accounts. vehicles and other real assets like art and precious metals.is the change in net worth between 1983 and 1986 divided by the number of years. gender and the educational level of the household head. call accounts. cash value of life insurance and the later includes residential property. other loans for property. bonds. money market deposit accounts. and whether or not the household head is willing to undertake risky investments). and the demographic characteristics associated with tastes (urban residence. mutual funds.

These restrictions leave us with a sample containing 1. Table 4. The head of the median household reports that it is all right to borrow money for educational expenses. The average household in the sample is headed by a forty two year old married high school graduate and includes two children. The average household net worth in 1983 is $81.575 in 1986 dollars. Also. For households with nonzero college expenditures.690 households. respectively.296. The sample is restricted to families that did not change composition from 1983-86. Households with retired household heads are assumed to be in the life-cycle stage of dissaving.3 presents average household savings and college expenses by 85 . Estimating the relationship between savings and educational expenditures is complicated for families who experienced a major change in composition such as marriage and divorce. Table 4.2 presents summary statistics of the variables used.1 gives a detailed definition of the variables used in the estimation of the model. The sample is also constrained to include only the households with nonretired household heads and their spouses if the head is married. the typical household saves $5. Permanent and transitory incomes in 1985 are $25.806 and according to second measure. Appendix C. households with family income above $100.811.005. it saves $4.is the difference between reported income in 1985 and estimated permanent income.000 are excluded to avoid the difficulty of modeling the relationship between educational expenditures and savings.931 and $3. According to the first measure of savings. the average expenditure is $2.

household savings increase with the number of children in college. The data show that college expenses increase with net worth. Households in the top 25 percentile of the wealth distribution with two or more children in college save on average $18. 4. college expenditures per child decreases.3 also breaks down savings and college expenses by the number of children in college and net worth in 1983. Except the households in the bottom 25 percentile of the net worth distribution with two or more children attending college. Table 4.9) (4. Households in all three wealth groups (bottom 25 percentile. However. household savings increase with the number of children in college. more than twice as much the households in the same wealth group with one child in college. The data show that households continue to save while children are in college. 25-75 percentile and top 25 percentile) spend less per child as the number of children attending college increases. However.10) .4 Empirical Specification The simultaneous relation between educational expenses (e∗ ) and house- hold savings (a) is specified as follows: e∗ = δ1 ni + x1i κ1 + u1i i ai = η2 e∗ + x2i κ2 + u2i i 86 (4. As the number of children in college increases.the number of children attending college. the number of children in college is inversely related to the expenditure per child as predicted by the quantityquality model. Savings of households with children in college increase with net worth.077.

However. δ1 < 0.where x1i and x2i are the vectors of exogenous variables. The structural disturbances ui = (u1i . i. the data on household fertility gives the number of children ever born to a household headed by a person of a certain age. n. i. I use estimates of the parameters of a Poisson regression model to construct the completed fertility profile when the household head is 55 years old.11) where x3i is a vector of demographic characteristics.6 Information on educational expenses is available only if the household has a child attending college and if the household spends a positive amount The model is also estimated using the predicted number of children obtained from the Poisson model.e. η2 > 0. Therefore. The model predicts that an increase in the number of children decreases the anticipated and actual educational expenditure. u2i ) are assumed to be randomly drawn from a 2-variable distribution with E(ui ) = 0 and E(ui ui ) = . The empirical results hold true for this measure of fertility too. Another prediction of the model is that educational expenses increases household savings. The expected completed family size is given by E[n] = exp(x3i κ3 + φi ) (4.e. The theoretical model derives predictions concerning the effect of the completed lifetime fertility on the educational expenses. the completed fertility. 6 87 . is obtained to estimate the expected educational expenses. κ3 is a vector of parameters. and φi is an age specific factor. and κ1 and κ2 are the vectors of parameters to be estimated.

The right-hand variables include household demographics expected to affect the number of children: namely.4 are consistent with previous studies. Then I use the estimates of those parameters to construct the profile of anticipated educational expenses. and a dummy indicating whether the household does not live in a SMSA area (NSMSA).on financing her education. a dummy indicating whether the spouse works for a full time job in 1983 (FSPOUSE). Let gi = 1 indicate that the household has a child attending college. age (AGE). Then e∗ is observed to be ei if e∗ > 0 and gi = 1.4 contains estimates of the Poisson regression model of the fertility equation. gender (FEMALE). However. Estimates of the coefficients in Table 4. race (BLACK) and the education of the household head (HIGHSCH and COLLEG). gi = 0 indicate that none of the children are attending college.5 Estimation and Results Table 4. and education of the spouse (HIGHSCHSP and COLLEGSP). households headed by high school and college graduates have fewer children than those headed by persons without a high school degree. Controlling for permanent income. martial status (MARRIED). 88 . permanent income (PERINC). I obtain expected i i educational expenses as follows. 4. An increase in the permanent income increases the number of children. Married households have more children. First. I estimate a Tobit model for the educational expenditures of the households with children attending college.

Households with children attending college between 1983-86 are included in the estimation of the Tobit regression. Columns 1 and 2 contain the results with CHILD and columns 3 and 4 contain the results with CHILD. namely. a dummy indicating whether or not the household head believes it is all right to borrow money for college expenses of children (BEDUCAT) and dummies indicating the most important reason for saving (SRETIRE.690 households in the sample. the amount of college expenditure decreases with the number of children.5 reports estimates of the equation (4. age (AGE) and education (COLLEG) of the household head. SEMERG.03. Of the 1. -$187).controlling for marital status. Table 4.9). The partial derivative of the expected college expenditure with respect to the number of children is calculated at the mean values of the estimated number of children (CHILD) and other explanatory 89 . households with spouses working full-time and with high school and college degrees have fewer children. SCHEDUC and SHOME). 338 had a child attending college between 1983-86. The right-hand variables also include other factors that might affect the college expenditures. As predicted by the quantity-quality model. and permanent and transitory income (PERINC and TRINC). The instrumental estimate of the coefficient on the number of children is almost three times as large as the OLS estimate (-$459 vs. The average CHILD is 3. and 252 reported contributing a positive amount to their children’s college expenses. I use the estimates of the regression to predict the completed household fertility when the household head is 55 years old (CHILD).

6 presents actual and estimated college expenses by household net worth in 1983. Estimated contributions of the households with children in college are very close to the actual expenses. ˆ σ (4.789 per child. I use estimates of the Tobit model and the expected completed fertility. Φ is the standard normal cumuˆ ˆ lative distribution.093 per child. ˆ Using the approximation. The last two columns of Table 4. Table 4. The average COLLEXP is $1.436. CHILD.12) where σ is the estimate of the standard error.variables as follows: ˆ ˆ δ1 ∗ Φ((δ1 ni + x1i κ1 )/ˆ ). While the average contribution of households in the bottom 25 percentile of wealth distribution is $1. an additional child results in a drop of $317 in expected college expenditures at the mean of values.6 show SAVE1 and SAVE2 for households with 90 . to calculate the expected college expenditures (COLLEXP ). Households with heads who believe that it is all right to borrow for educational expenses have higher expenditures. Estimates in Table 4. Households citing saving for children’s education as the most important reason for saving spend more than other households. The amount of contribution to children’s college education increases with wealth. Households citing saving for retirement and buying a home as the most important reason for saving spend less on children’s education. and δ1 and κ1 are the estimates of δ1 and κ1 .5 show that increases in permanent and transitory income increase the level of expenditures for educational expenses. the average contribution of the top 25 percentile is $3. respectively.

the coefficient of expected college expenditure (COLLEXP ) is negative and the coefficient of age interaction term (AGE×COLLEXP ) is positive. gender (FEMALE) of the household head. Explanatory variables include age (AGE). indicating that an increase in expected college expenditure raises 91 .and without children in college. In estimates of both equations. nonurban residence (NSMSA) and dummies indicating household net worth in 1983 (NWORTH25 and NWORTH75). and columns 3 and 4 contain the estimates for SAVE2. a dummy indicating whether or not the household had a windfall greater than $3.000 between 1893-86. Table 4. Columns 1 and 2 contain the estimates for SAVE1. households with greater wealth save more if they have a child attending college. Interestingly. permanent and transitory incomes (PERINC and TRINC). However. the data in Table 4.6 show that wealthier families contribute more to their children’s education and continue to save while their children are in college. The estimates of SAVE1 and SAVE2 are very similar.3. two other reasons for saving.7 presents the effect of expected college expenditures on household savings. a dummy indicating whether the household head is willing to take risky investments (RISKY). households in top 25 percentile of the wealth distribution save almost five times more if they have a child in college. Similar to Table 4. Households in the bottom 25 percentile of wealth distribution save significantly less than those without children in college. and the number of children attending college between 1983-86 (NCHCOLL). which are retirement and emergencies (SRETIRE and SEMERG).

saving for emergencies does not significantly affect savings. This result does not necessarily mean that households are not saving for children’s college education.1 shows the effect of the age of the household head on SAVE1. citing a motive other than retirement or emergencies as the most 92 . Finally. Households citing saving for retirement as the most important reason save more. households in the bottom 25 percentile of the wealth distribution save $2. For each age group. Permanent income increases both SAVE1 and SAVE2. the figure first calculates savings of a typical household expecting to contribute $2.493 more and households in the top 25 percentile save $11. households with heads who are willing to undertake risky investments save $7.000 to college expenses and compares it to what it would have saved. Using the estimates in Table 4. Also. the data does not have detailed information on the years that children were attending college between 1983 and 1986.savings after age 28. However. Figure 4. household savings are calculated in five year intervals. Finally. The saving behavior of a household with a child in the first year of college in 1983 can be quite different from a household with a child finishing up college in 1983. By typical. Unfortunately. showing that households save approximately 39 percent of their transitory income. had it not expected to contribute a positive amount.398 less than those in the middle of the wealth distribution . I mean a household in the 25-75 percentile of the wealth distribution. the number of children attending college does not significantly decrease household savings.833 more than other households.7. The effect of transitory income on both measures of savings is positive and significant.

for example.000 between 1983-86.important saving motive. The effect of expecting to contribute $2000 on household savings is $8. savings decline to zero at the age of 43. If the household does not expect to contribute to children’s college expenses. The results show that savings of the household with an anticipated $2. who is not willing to undertake risky investments and did not receive a windfall greater than $3.000 at the age of 43. and it increases with the age of the household head. This striking result is due to the assumption that this household is assumed not to cite saving for retirement as the most important reason. Saving motives change with age and household composition.894.7 show that the effect of saving for retirement on household saving is positive and raises household savings by $4. This figure only shows that controlling for other factors. I introduce life-cycle savings into the quality and quantity model of fertility and derive predictions concerning the effect of educational expenditures on household savings. headed by a male. this will increase its saving by $4. The household is assumed to have average permanent and transitory incomes for their age group. I also obtain predictions 93 .6 Conclusion This chapter examines the effect of saving for children’s college edu- cation on household savings.894.000 college expenses increase with age. If we assume. that this household starts saving for retirement when the household head is 43 years old. 4. The results in Table 4. the effect of anticipated college expenses on savings is positive and significant.

The results are also consistent with the findings in Souleles [49]. and the change in net worth excluding the capital gains on primary residence. which are the change in net worth between 1983 and 1986.concerning the simultaneous determination of family size and college expenditure per child.000 at the age of 43. this present chapter examines the effect of college expenditures over the life-cycle and finds that most of the saving done by wealthier households can be attributed to saving to finance their children’s college expenses. The results are consistent with the predictions of the life-cycle theory of saving and consumption that households save in advance for expected expenses. the difference between savings of households with and without college expenses can be as high as $8. I estimate expected expenditures on children’s college education. The main finding of this chapter is that households save in advance for children’s college expenditures. Other things constant. Using the actual college expenditures reported in the 1983-86 Survey of Consumer Finances. By focusing on household savings. which show that despite large college expenses. I analyze the effect of educational expenditures on two different measures of savings. 94 . The model uses the expected expenditures and other control variables that affect savings to estimate an equation of savings. households smooth consumption into the academic year and do not cut consumption in the 6-9 months before the academic year starts. The amount of savings for college expenses increases with the age of the household head.

000 0.279 0.341 0.007 0.057 0.043 0.244 0.440 0.’ SCHEDU: saving for the education of children.021 0.053 SHOME 0.042 0.471 0.339 0.023 0.004 0.057 0.027 0. SOTHER: saving for other reasons and NOSAVE: cannot/does not save. 1983.070 0.310 0.009 0.369 0.401 0.079 0.087 0.074 0.032 25-75p 75 to 100p Source: Survey of Consumer Finances.455 0.013 0. SHOME: saving to buy a home. Tabulations are weighted using the sample weights.002 0.016 95 0.383 0.351 0.120 0.Table 4.060 0.083 0.397 0.035 SOTHER 0.337 0.223 0.027 0.345 SEMERG SCHEDU 0.016 0.068 0.404 0. The number of observations N=1690.063 0.391 0. .102 0.381 0.000 0.212 0. SRETIRE: saving for retirement.010 0. Notes: This table reports the proportion of households citing the selected motives as the most important reason for saving.009 0.543 0.058 0.115 0.380 NOSAVE 0.1: Saving Motives By the Number of Children SRETIRE 0.341 0.377 0.066 0. SEMERGE: saving for ‘rainy days.049 0.082 0.153 CHILD 0 1-2 3 or more 0.382 0.033 0.064 0.330 0.023 HH 0.049 0.264 0.000 0.469 0.042 0.053 0.037 NWORTH 0-25p 0 1-2 3 or more 0 1-2 3 or more 0 1-2 3 or more 0.043 0.029 0.278 0.355 0.

96 . Deviation CHILD 2. The number of observations N=1690.32 2817.50 BLACK 0.35 WINDF 0.08 161860.53 0. All variables are described in Appendix C.45 Source: Survey of Consumer Finances. Notes: Tabulations are weighted using sample weights.86 0.64 NWORTH 81575.65 0.41 33402.47 SAVE2 4811.47 2.2: Descriptive Summary of Variables Variables Mean Std.37 NSMSA 0.33 MARRIED 0.Table 4.28 RISKY 0.68 AGE 42.24 0.14 COLLEXP> 0 2005.1.28 0. 1983-86.75 TRINC 3296.17 0.43 14.10 FEMALE 0.36 SAVE1 5806.13 35397.11 12491.24 0. All dollar values are reported in 1986 dollars.32 15127.48 BEDUCAT 0.43 HIGHSCH 0.86 PERINC 25931.08 0.43 COLLEG 0.13 0.

1983-86.Table 4. 97 . The number of observations N=1690. All dollar values are reported in 1986 dollars. Tabulations are weighted using sample weights.3: Savings and College Expenses by the Number of Children in College SAVE1 SAVE2 COLLEXP NCHCOLL 0 1 2 or more NWORTH 0-25p 5041 6661 12357 4206 5277 10317 0 2236 1657 0 1 2 or more 0 1 2 or more 0 1 2 or more 3762 4961 1829 5804 6032 7707 4870 7745 18077 3705 5005 1695 4348 5305 5695 4551 5312 15577 0 905 797 0 1882 951 0 2937 2355 25-75p 75-100p Source: Survey of Consumer Finances. Notes: NCHCOLL shows the number of children attending college between 1983-86.

408 0.717 0. Notes: ** indicates significance at 5 percent level.145 ** 0.038 0.106 0.057 ** -0.964 0.062 ** 1.090 ** -0.038 0.039 ** -0.Table 4.022 0. 1983-86.126 ** -0.097 ** 0.078 0.293 Source: Survey of Consumer Finances.930 0.1. Variables are described in Appendix C.032 0.389 0. and * indicates significance at 10 percent level.4: Poisson Regression: Number of Children CONSTANT AGE FEMALE FSPOUSE HIGHSCH COLLEG BLACK MARRIED NONSMSA PERINC/1000 HIGHSCHSP COLLEGSP N OBS Mean of dependent variable Log L R2 Coefficient Std.134 ** 0.004 ** -0. 98 .062 ** 1690 2.461 0.128 ** 0. Error -1.48 0.43 -2971.435 0.

3 134.9 2912. 99 .1 1063.9 ** -187.70 Source: Survey of Consumer Finances.4 92.6 -407.5 22.9 ** 67.9 ** -4903.6 -1124.6 408.7 * 997.2 88.0 9.4 23.3 2444.6 1452.1 611.7 338 .1 72. Error Coefficient Std.4 10.7 ** 1391.5 472.2 2524.8 -7.0 ** 72.8 ** -1103.9 557.Table 4.8 232. Notes: ** indicates significance at 5 percent level.0 409.3 609.746 -2429.81 CONSTANT AGE CHILD CHILD PERINC/1000 BEDUCAT SRETIRE SEMERG SCHEDUC SHOME COLLEG TRINC/1000 SIGMA N OBS Proportion of + observations Log L ** ** * ** ** * ** ** -2429.9 -45.9 -458.1 550.4 555.5: Tobit Estimates of College Expenditure Equation Coefficient Std.0 ** 2905.4 1589. All variables are described in Appendix C. Error -601.2 19.0 0.5 18.7 1467. 1983-86.5 551.8 468.1 -4936.8 473.8 -372.6 133.1.5 -1335. and * indicates significance at 10 percent level.

100 .59 2334 17.29 1436 44.Table 4. Notes: Tabulations are weighted using sample weights. The number of observations N=1690. CHCOLL=1 if the household has a child attending college between 1983-86 (0 otherwise).65 0 1. All dollar values are reported in 1986 dollars.93 3093 COLLEXP 1278 1445 1614 1960 2219 3064 SAVE1 SAVE2 3800 3732 2802 2989 5570 4256 8864 6712 3731 3599 15904 12709 Source: Survey of Consumer Finances.6: College Expenditures and Savings by the Number of Children in College NWORTH CHCOLL 0-25p 0 1 25-75p 0 1 75-100p 0 1 %HH COLLEXP 23.02 0 7.52 0 5. 1983-86.

3 10.0 1642.8 .3 2016.0 -790.3 0.8 761.2 ** -9.5 2493.5 0.3 ** 309.8 163.4 2434.8 140.3 ** 10.5 . All variables are described in Appendix C.0 1271. Notes: ** indicates significance at 5 percent level.8 -615.5 2409.3 * 3028.4 2538.2 3422.8 2783.Table 4.7 ** 0.0 7833.6 407.0 2460.2 1820. .4 ** 336.6 -315. and * indicates significance at 10 percent level.3 0.1 3139.8 3349.1 * 4679.2 3.3 -774.9 2474.1 2796. a Predicted value of the variable from Tobit regression of educational expenditures.8 ** 6820.8 4.2 -10.8 160.8 3199.6 388.6 10944.6 2026.2 5041.9 11080. 1983-86.3 2954.084 Source: Survey of Consumer Finances.5 1325. Error ** 22327.1 4. Error 22618.0 -11398.2 3.5 -1310.6 1516.8 382.107 SAVE2 Coefficient Std.0 382.3 416.0 5607.9 1728.6 ** -9329.1 4894.9 139.1.7: Effect of Anticipated College Expenses on Savings ** ** ** ** ** ** ** * ** ** ** 101 CONSTANT AGE AGE2 PERINC/1000 TRINC/1000 a COLLEGEXP a AGE×COLLEGEXP SRETIRE SEMERG NWORTH25 NWORTH75 WINDF RISKY FEMALE NSMSA NCHCOLL R2 SAVE1 Coefficient Std.2 ** -1284.

102 . • savings of a household with no college expenses.1: The Importance of Educational Expenses on Savings SAVE16 10. 791 − ? savings of a household with $2000 college expenses. 045 − • 3. 736 − • • • | 23 −1. 068 − | 28 | 33 | 38 | 43 • | 48 | 53 Age • • −5.Figure 4.

Appendices 103 .

taxable interest. Thus. households are assumed to claim standard deductions instead of itemizing deductions. dividends. alimony received. The SCF does not contain information on some possible deductions such as medical expenses.1 Estimating Marginal Tax Rates The marginal tax rate of each household is computed using the tax Form 1040 and the information on sources of income. state and local income taxes. number of dependents. and age of the household head and the spouse. All married couples are assumed to file a joint return. Components of income such as other gains and IRA distributions that are not reported in the SCF are set to zero. business income and farm income. rents. royalties. In determining filing status and personal exemptions.Appendix A Appendix for Chapter 2 A. including wage and salaries. I use the information on marital status. The sum of household income from all sources gives the adjusted gross income (AGI). Subtracting the standard deduction and exemptions from the AGI 104 . job expenses and moving expenses. The SCF collects information on many components of total income. tax-exempt interest.

2 Name Definition of Variables Description Estimated earnings of the household head and spouse at the age of 45. 105 . =1 if the household head is a single female. For homeowners. Marginal tax rate of the household. =1 if three or more children are living in the household. INCOME ASSET MTR Eh Total assets of the household. =1 if the household head is married. See Appendix A.yields the taxable income. CHILD0 CHILD1 CHILD2 CHILD3 =1 if no children are living in the household.3. See Appendix A. The difference in total tax liabilities divided by 100 gives the marginal tax rate. A. AGE MARRIED FEMALE NCHILD Age of the household head in years. =1 if only one child is living in the household. Consumption demand for housing. it is the opportunity cost of owning a house.1. I then apply the appropriate tax rate schedule to calculate the household’s tax liability.once with AGI and then with AGI minus 100. Number of children younger than age 22 who live in the household. =1 if two children are living in the household. The marginal tax rate is computed by running this method twice .

=1 if the household is included in the 1998 survey.3 Estimating Permanent Income The measure of permanent income is constructed using the method outlined in King and Dicks-Mireaux [40]. =1 if the household head reports that he is willing to take risky investments. =1 if the household head is white.1) where Zi is a vector of observable characteristics. YEAR92 YEAR95 YEAR98 =1 if the household is included in the 1992 survey. A. Observed earnings are assumed to differ from permanent income in two ways. This measure is defined as predicted earnings at the age of 45 plus an individual-specific effect. and c(AGEi ) is a cohort effect. earnings 106 . =1 if the household is included in the 1995 survey. βp is the parameter vector. Thus. The first is due to the movements along the age-earnings profile over the life cycle. and the second is transitory changes in earnings. (A. εpi is an unobservable variable measuring characteristics such as ability (εpi 2 has zero mean and variance of σs ). =1 the household is a homeowner.CHAGE13 HOMEOWN WHITE RISKY =1 if the youngest child is older than age 13. The permanent income Y for individual i is defined as Ln Yi = Zi βp + εpi − c(AGEi ).

3) 2 2 2 where α = σs /(σs + σu ). c(AGEi ). ˆ (A. I need the estimates of βp . permanent income is calculated from Zi βp .1) and (A. Earnings equations are estimated separately for household heads and spouses. εpi and c(AGEi ). I assume that the cohort effect. Following King and Dicks-Mireaux [40]. The same procedure is used for spouses. with one exception. Instead. I calculate the minimum variance estimator of εpi using εpi = α(εpi + uit ). and this provides the ˆ estimate βp . To construct an estimate of permanent income. (A.2) where e(. I assume that α = 0. ˆ is zero.2) and estimate the resulting earnings equation using each wave of SCF separately. AGEit is the age of the respondent and uit is the log of the transitory component (uit has zero mean 2 and variance of σu .5. I combine (A. Since age-earnings profile e(AGEit − 45) and c(AGEi ) cannot be identified for this estimation.in year t are Ln Eit = Ln Yi + e(AGEit − 45) + uit . to get an estimate of εpi . The selectivity-adjusted earnings functions are estimated for the sample consisting of individuals with nonzero earnings.) measures the log of the age-earnings profile. and is assumed to be uncorrelated with εpi ). King and Dicks-Mireaux [40] use outside data to impose a cohort effect. Finally. Their permanent income is adjusted for 107 . For heads with zero ˆ earnings.

108 . Household permanent income is the sum of the estimates of permanent income for the head and spouse.non-participation at different stages of the life cycle as follows: ˆ Yiw = Yi P rob(Ei > 0). ˆ where Yi is the permanent income estimate. and the probability of nonzero earnings is computed for each spouse from the probit estimates.

Mean of the residual income from the earnings regression.Appendix B Appendix for Chapter 3 B. SAVE2 First difference in net worth between 1983-89 controlling for capital gains in home prices divided by 6. AGE Age of the household head in 1983. =1 if the household in the bottom 25 percent of the net worth distribution in 1983. Mean of the predicted income from the earnings regression.1 Name SAVE1 Definition of Variables Description First difference in net worth between 1983-89 divided by 6. NWORTH90 =1 if the household in the 10 percent of the net worth distribution in 1983. Household net worth in 1983. 109 . VRLI Variance of residual of log income from the earnings equation. Mean of reported income between 1982-88. VRI MEANINC PERMINC TRANS NWORTH NWORTH25 Variance of log income.

=1 if the household head is planning to leave a bequest. =1 if the household owns a home in 1989. =1 if the household owns a home in 1983. =1 if the household head is white. =1 if the household head is married. Number of children between age 0-6 in 1983. Change in the number of adults between 1983-89. Number of children between age 13-18 in 1983. 110 . =1 if the spouse is working fulltime in 1983. =1 if the household had an additional child between 1983-89. Number of children between age 7-12 in 1983.EDUC WHITE MARRIED NCHILD YOUNGCH MIDDCH HIGHSCH ∆CHILD Years of education of the household head in 1983. Number of children living in the household in 1983. NADULT ∆NADULT BEQUEST HOWN83 HOWN89 SPFULLT Number of adults living in the household in 1983.

=1 if the household head is female. Difference between net worth in 1986 excluding the capital gains on primary residence and net worth in 1983 divided by 3. Difference between net worth in 1986 and 1983 divided by 3. AGE FEMALE HIGHSCH Age of the household head in 1983. Amount of expenditure on the college education of a child in 1986 dollars. NWORTH75 =1 if the household is in the top 25 percentile of the wealth distribution. 111 .1 Name CHILD COLLEXP Definition of Variables Description Number of children ever born to the household head. Difference between total income in 1985 and permanent income. NWORTH NWORTH25 Net worth in 1986. =1 if the household head has a high school degree. =1 if the household is in the bottom 25 percentile of the wealth distribution.Appendix C Appendix for Chapter 4 C. PERINC TRINC SAVE1 SAVE2 Predicted 1985 household income.

SOTHER =1 if the household cited another reason as the most important reason to save. COLLEGSP FSPOUSE BLACK MARRIED RISKY =1 if the spouse has a college degree. =1 if the household head is willing to undertake risky investments.COLLEG =1 if the household head has a college degree. =1 if the spouse is working at a full-time job.000 between 1983-86. WINDF =1 if the household received a windfall greater than $3. =1 if children’s education is the most important reason for saving. 112 . Number of children attending college between 1983-86. =1 if the household head is married. =1 if the household head is African-American. NSMSA NCHCOLL =1 if the place of residence is not in a SMSA. HIGHSCHSP =1 if the spouse has a high school degree. BEDUCAT =1 if the household head thinks it is all right to borrow for education. SHOME =1 if saving to buy a home is the most important reason for saving. SRETIRE SEMERGE SCHEDU =1 if retirement is the most important reason for saving. =1 if emergencies are the most important reason for saving.

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Turkey on June 2. Effective August 2002. she accepted an assistant professor position at Purdue University. Permanent address: 834 Main Street Apt.Vita Tansel Yilmazer was born in Izmir. the daugh¨ ter of Onder Yilmazer and Necla Yilmazer. g c She began her graduate studies at Boˆazi¸i University. 1970. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Boˆazi¸i University in January 1994. 121 . where she received a g c Master of Arts degree in Economics in June 1997. IN 47901 This dissertation was typed by the author. She later continued her education at the University of Texas at Austin. B Lafayette.

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