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

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

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

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

. . 2. . . . . . . . . .3 3. . . . . . . .1 3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2.5 The Effect of Precautionary Motives Saving and Fertility Introduction . . . . . . Introduction iv v ix xi 1 6 6 12 12 15 17 24 30 44 44 48 51 58 63 Chapter 2. . . The Relationship between Fertility and Saving . . . . . . . . .Table of Contents Acknowledgments Abstract List of Tables List of Figures Chapter 1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 3. 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Do Children Affect Household Portfolio Allocation? 2. . . . . . . . . . 2. . . Data . . . . . . 2. . Conclusion . . . . . . . . on Household . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2. . . . .2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.2 The Model . . . . . . . . . . . 2. . . . . . . . . . . .1 Introduction . . . . . . . . vii . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Data . Chapter 3. . .2 Empirical Model . . . . .1 Theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Estimation and Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 3. . . .4 Estimation and Results . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Conclusion . . . . . . . . 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . Appendices College . . . . . . . . . . . . Appendix for Chapter A. . . .4 Empirical Specification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 A Model of Saving for College 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . 4. A. . . Appendix for Chapter 4 111 C. 2 104 . . .1 Definition of Variables . . . . . 104 . 73 73 80 83 86 88 93 103 Appendix A. . .5 Estimation and Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106 Appendix B. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Saving for Children’s 4.1 Definition of Variables . . . . . . . . . . . A. . . Appendix for Chapter 3 109 B.Chapter 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105 . . . . . . . . . . . . . Education . . . . . .1 Estimating Marginal Tax Rates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111 Bibliography Vita 113 121 viii . .2 Definition of Variables . . . .3 Estimating Permanent Income . 4. . . . . . . . .1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Data . . . . . . . 109 Appendix C. . . . . 4.

Descriptive Statistics by Household Fertility Decision . Regressions of SAVE1 on Income Uncertainty with Endogenous Fertility Decision . . . .10 2. . . . . . . . . . . . .11 3. . . . . . . . . .5 3. . . . . . . . . . . .1 2.6 2. . Results from Probit Estimation . .3 3. . . Mean Income Uncertainty by Household Demographics . . . . . .7 3. . . Portfolio Shares for Assets by the Number of Children and Age Saving Motives by Age Groups. . Expenditure on Housing. . . . . . . . .7 2. . . . . . .8 4. . . Poisson Regression: Number of Children . . . . . . . . . . . Mean Asset Shares. . .5 2. . .3 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Descriptive Summary of Variables . . . . . . . . Mean Asset Shares by Year . . . . . . . . . . . . . Saving Motives By the Number of Children . Results: Asset Shares and Housing Expenditure of Renters . . . .5 Descriptive Statistics by Year . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1998 . . . . . . . . . . . . Results: Asset Shares and Housing Expenditure of Homeowners Homeowners: Continued . . . . . . Savings and College Expenses by the Number of College . . . 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 95 96 97 98 99 . . . . . .9 2. . . Children in . . 1998: Continued . . . . .1 3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Renters: Continued . . . . . . .List of Tables 2. . . 1998 . . .4 2. . . .4 4. . . . . . Savings. . . . . . . . . .3 4. . . .6 3. . . . . . . . . . The Effect of a Change in the Fertility Decision on SAVE1 .2 2. . . 1983 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Income and Income Uncertainty by Age and Fertility Probit: Fertility Decision of Fecund Households . Tobit Estimates of College Expenditure Equation ix . . . . . . . .4 3. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 2. . . . . . . .1 4. . . . . .2 4. . . . . Mean Asset Shares. . . . . .2 3. . . . . . Regressions of SAVE2 on Income Uncertainty with Endogenous Fertility Decision .

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

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. however. household saving show that saving rates are higher for married couples with no children and lower for those with children. 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. This finding is consistent with the life-cycle theory of saving and consumption and shows that household composition is an important factor 3 . The data on U.cost of homeownership. having an additional child decreases savings of households with young heads and increases savings of those with older heads. 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 investigates the relation between household saving and fertility decisions.S. Also. this chapter extends the empirical work on 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. 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. By examining the implications of uncertainty on the fertility decisions of households and incorporating fertility decisions as a motive for household saving behavior. The findings. Using a life cycle model that incorporates precautionary motives for saving.

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

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. 5 .

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

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

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

Neither of these studies explicitly analyzes the determinants of the consumption demand for housing and the portfolio share for housing. [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. For example. 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.5 percent. [36] show that 9 . the homeowner’s optimal portfolio is inefficient in a mean-variance framework. Harun et al. The results of his model show that when the constraint imposed by housing is binding.an investment constraint requires that the quantity of housing owned is at least as large as the quantity of housing consumed. In Berkovec and Fullerton. households decide on tenure and quantity of housing taking both consumption and investment motives into account. Their simulation concentrates on the effect of taxes on the tenure choice and owner-occupied housing. 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. Robst et al. 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.

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

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

The consumer maximizes a multiperiod utility function.2.on the probability of owning a home. The remainder of this chapter is organized as follows. 2.4. The number of children also increases the housing demand of homeowners. Renters invest a smaller share of their portfolio in interest-bearing accounts with an increase in the number of children. Section 2. A summary of the findings and concluding remarks are presented in Section 2.1 The Model Theory This section examines the behavior of a consumer deciding whether to rent or own a home. The estimation results are reported in Section 2. As a result of the portfolio constraint imposed by the housing demand of children. homeowners decrease the portfolio share in retirement accounts while they increase the portfolio share in housing.5.2 introduces the theoretical model and discusses the empirical specification of the model. and how much to allocate to other risky assets. 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.2 2. 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. Section 2.3 describes the data set and the variables used in the empirical work. Following Brueckner [7] and 12 . Controlling for the number of children and other variables.

The dollar amount of asset j purchased is denoted aj .. E gives the expected utility.Henderson and Ioannides [27]. (2.2) 13 . j = 0. so that aj ≥ 0.1) where y is future labor income. and consumption in future periods that depends on the random total return R from the investment portfolio. (2. 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). j = 0.. The only source of uncertainty is assumed to be from returns on J + 1 assets and owner-occupied housing (h). housing services (hc ). 1. and owner-occupied housing earns rh . with a0 being the riskless asset. Short selling is ruled out for all assets including housing. . J. U gives the utility from the current consumption. The consumer’s objective function can be written as follows: U (c. J. . 1. V is an indirect utility function. I assume that third and subsequent periods are buried in the indirect utility function given remaining wealth at the beginning of the second period. and δ is the discount factor.. 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). hc ) + δE[V (R + y)]. The first period budget constraint is given by J c=w− p o hc h − j=0 aj . The j th asset earns a gross return of rj . and h ≥ 0.

2.3) If the consumer rents a house..5) since h is equal to zero for renters.7). respectively. h = 0 in equations (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. then the first period budget constraint is given by J c = w − po hc − r j=0 aj . J.4) where po r is the price of a unit of housing for renters. (2. j = 1. (2. are the variances of rh and rk .. (2. For renters. For homeowners. In the model. the return on housing and the return on other assets are assumed to be normal variables with the expected values rh and rj . 14 .6) and (2.J. h The total return of the portfolio is given by J R = rh h + j=0 rj aj .7) where θhh and θjj . j = 1.6) 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 .. . The total return of the J portfolio is given by R= j=0 rj aj . (2.. . θjk is the covariance of returns between asset j and k. 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.

how much to spend on housing (Eh ). j = c j 0.2.7) and decides to own or rent a house comparing the utilities in two outcomes. c j (2. .8) subject to (2. (2. a household determines whether to own or rent a house: H = 1 if Xh β1 + ε1 > 0 = 0 otherwise. For both homeowners and renters. J..6) and (2. h∗ and a∗ . 1. The empirical model described in the next section focuses on the interaction between these two stages of decision making.8) where φ(. h∗ .6) and (2. and shares of wealth to allocate to each asset j (sj ). First. In the first stage.9) where Xh is a vector of year dummies and characteristics that are associated 15 . this problem can be solved in two stages.) is the standard normal density function. σ. and to owner-occupied housing (sh ) is modeled as follows. that maximize (2.3). (2. 2. The consumer also decides on c∗ .. J..7). 1.. The consumer’s problem is to choose c∗ . j = 0. (2.1) subject to (2. that maximize (2.2). are chosen optimally with hc and σ held constant. j = 0.2 Empirical Model The joint determination of whether own a house (H=1) or not (H=0). hc (and thus σ) is chosen optimally. .4). 1. hc ) + δ V (R + σz + y)φ(z)dz. (2. I rewrite the objective function (2.Following Fama and Miller [21] and Brueckner [7]. and a∗ .. In the second stage. (2.. .5).1) in terms of R.. and the standard normal variable z as follows: U (c. the asset levels aj . J.

respectively..11) where X and Xc are vectors of household characteristics and year dummies. j = 0. In the first stage.10) (2. . a probit model of the tenure choice in equation (2. Similarly. In the second stage. as a regressor in estimating (2. (2. 16 . βoj . 1... J.. J  sj = Xβoj + εoj sh = Xβh + εh If owner. 1. 1. εh .  log Eh = Xc βrc + εrc .. and εrc are the error terms.. Separate equations are specified for homeowners and renters. and εoj . The two stage method described in Lee and Trost [42] is used to estimate the model.. I use ˆ ˆ φ(X β1 )/Φ(X β1 ). βoc and βrc are the parameter vectors to be estimated. β1 is a parameter vector. j = 0. . .  j = 0. J. J  sj = Xβrj + εrj sh = 0 If renter. and also the housing expenditure:  j = 0.9) provides an estimate of β1 .(2.  log Eh = Xc βoc + εoc .. εoc . and ε1 is an error term. and the error terms in equations (2. 1. φ(X β1 )/(1 − Φ(X β1 )) is used as a regressor for renters in estimating (2. εrj . .9) . βh .11).11) are assumed to have a joint normal distribution. Second..with the probability of owning a house... the household decides on the share of portfolio allocated to each asset and housing.. where φ and Φ are probability density and cumulative distribution of the standard ˆ ˆ normal distribution. βrj .10) for homeowners.

The SCF constructs sample weights to blend the supplements with the area-probability sample to get a more representative sample of the U. and other assets like arts and precious metals.299. 1.S. 401(k)s.409 out of 4. 1992. all types of bonds. 1.2.519 out of 4. 4) HOUSE is the market value of owner-occupied housing. the cost of housing services depends on In the 1989 SCF.906. cash value of life insurance. in 1992. 3) RETIRE includes IRAs. and mutual funds. For owners. money market deposit accounts. saving accounts. certificates of deposit. and demographic characteristics. 1.480 out of 3. and other defined contribution plans. 1995 and 1998 SCF. the supplement consists of 866 out of 3. population and a supplement of high-wealth households drawn from Internal Revenue Service file of high-income returns.3 Total assets are grouped into six categories: 1) ACCOUNT includes all holdings of checking accounts. Investments in businesses are not included in total assets because they generate an income that is difficult to separate from earnings. The consumption demand for housing is computed for renters and homeowners as follows. Each survey consists of a representative sample of the U. 6) RESTATE includes the market value of seasonal residences and other property. income.S. in 1995. call accounts. population.143 households. a triennial survey conducted by the Federal Reserve Board.309 households. 2) STOCK includes all assets held in stocks. and in 1998. Keogh. 5) VEHICLE is the value of all the vehicles the household owns.3 Data The data for this study are taken from the 1989. and 7) OTHER includes trusts. 3 17 . The survey contains detailed information on household portfolios.

maintenance and depreciation costs (d).1.015 for each of the sample years. First. Following Henderson and Ioannides [28].12) This formulation assumes that homeowners claim tax deductions for property taxes and mortgage interest payments. The interest rate. the property tax rate (τp ). Since marginal tax rates are not reported in the SCF. the mortgage interest payment (m). the income tax rate (τ ). r. The housing expenditures (Eh ) of homeowners are then defined as Eh = [(1 − τ )r + d + (1 − τ )τp − (ρ − π)]G − mτ. The calculation of marginal tax rates is described in Appendix A. To calculate the housing expenditure by using equation (2. I assume an annual rate of depreciation of d=0. The inflation rate. the interest rate (r). π.12). A few restrictions are imposed on the sample. (2. the annual rental expenditure reported in the SCF is used as the consumption demand for housing. I make several assumptions. and the rate of increase in house prices.the gross value of the residence (G). is the annual inflation rate calculated using the CPI-U deflator. For renters. households that neither rent nor own their homes are excluded for lack of information to cal18 . the rate of increase in the nominal price of housing (ρ) and the overall inflation rate (π). Property tax rates and mortgage interest payments are reported in the SCF. I impute them using detailed account information on the sources of income and demographics for each household. is the rate of increase in the median sale price of houses in that year. ρ. is assumed to be the interest rate on treasury bills.

6 However. or (iii) it owns part or all of the farm/ranch on which it lives on. respectively. 1992. 1992.2. 127. 183.4 Second. 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. 6 The SCF defines the head of the household to be the husband for all married households. respectively. Therefore. 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. both mean and median wealth (ASSET) have risen since 1992. Table 2. respectively.3. The same pattern is true for permanent income (INCOME). 209 and 193 were in the 0.989 observations. 4 19 . In 1989. 116. As a proxy for permanent income.773 and 3.1 shows the summary statistics for all the variables used in the estimation. a co-op or a townhouse association.900. 1995. households with female heads are headed by single females. marital status (MARRIED) and gender (FEMALE) of the household head and the fraction of homeowners (HOMEOWN). most of which have not changed much over time.807 households in 1989. Sample demographics show the age of the household head (AGE).1 percent weighted wealth holdings in each wave of the SCF are dropped. and 1998 SCF.1 percentile of the weighted wealth distribution in the 1989. The calculation of permanent income follows King and Dicks-Mireaux [40] and is described in Appendix A. 1995 and 1998.509. 3. 5 Of the remaining households. 1995 and 1998. 214. 2. households with the highest 0.culate housing expenditure. I take the estimated earnings of the household head and the spouse at the age of 45 and an individual-specific effect. 3. to avoid the influence of extreme outliers on the regression.5 The final sample consists of 13. 1992. (ii) it owns both the mobile house and the site. The variables are described in detail in Appendix A.

2 presents interesting changes in household portfolio structures over time.was higher for homeowners in 1992 than in other years due to the decline in house prices in that year. representing 39.75 in 1995 and stayed the same in 1998.3 percent in 1989 to 11.2 percent in 1995. the composition of households’ portfolios reveals the importance of housing as an asset. wealth and children (the number of children living in the household) groups. Assets in these accounts increased from 5.2.83 in 1989 to 0. The percentage of households with all children older than age 13 (CHAGE13) has stayed the same since 1992.6 percent in 1998).7 percent of total assets in 1989 to 10. As shown in Table 2. Table 2. The average number of children (NCHILD) living in the household declined from 0.5 percent in 1998.4 percent of total assets in 1998. HOUSE is the most important asset. Second. First. followed by ACCOUNT. STOCK and RETIRE in 1998 offset the decline in HOUSE. The first column shows the share of households in different income. Table 2. The portfolio share for ACCOUNT declined from 14. there is a steady growth in the portfolio share for STOCK and a steady decline in the portfolio share for RESTATE since 1989. The second largest asset in the households’ portfolios is VEHICLE (18. VEHICLE and RESTATE. but it rose to 13. This suggests that households have substituted financial assets for nonfinancial assets. the share for RETIRE increases sharply. The increases in ACCOUNT. 20 .2 percent in 1998 due to an increase in the portfolio share for saving accounts.3 presents housing expenditures of homeowners and renters in 1998. age.

It also increases with the number of children. For renters. VEHICLE is the most important asset held (41.5 show the household portfolio composition in 1998 by household permanent income. however. The percentage of households who are homeowners increases with income. wealth and the number of children in the household. For homeowners. The first row of Table 2. for renters. Average housing expenditures for homeowners and renters are presented. 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. respectively. it declines after age 50. Among households with wealth below $250. Tables 2. First. there are marked differences in household portfolios of renters and owners. the expenditure on housing declines after the age of 65. The housing expenditures of renters and homeowners also increase with income.000. The average housing expenditure is $7.042 for homeowners and $6.The second column indicates the percentage of each of these groups that are homeowners. wealth and the age of the household head. VEHICLE is the third largest asset (7. wealth.4 shows the portfolio shares of assets that homeowners and renters hold. reaching a peak among households with two children.000 and income below $50.5 percent of total assets) followed by ACCOUNT (26.0 percent). Since the primary residence is the largest part of homeowners’ wealth.4 and 2. and the number of children. age of the household head.030 for renters. renters spend more on housing than owners. in the remaining two columns of the table. accounting for 57.9 percent. For homeowners.8 percent of total assets) following 21 .

among homeowners that have wealth exceeding $1 million. we observe striking differences in the composition of portfolios by the level of wealth. of the households with income below $15.3 and 2.9 percent of their total assets in housing. in contrast. First. 42. 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.000.7 percent are homeowners holding 75. but they hold only 42. For homeowners. Another noteworthy finding is that the portfolio shares for STOCK and RETIRE for both homeowners and renters rise with income. Also.4.2 percent). For example. Also. For example. This suggests that households with heads over age 65 substitute 22 . Several findings are worth noting. STOCK is the most important asset category with a share equal to 25.4 also presents the life cycle patterns in household portfolios. portfolio composition of households with heads over the age of 65 differs considerably from other age groups’ portfolios. Not surprisingly.2 percent of total assets while housing accounted for only 22. accumulation in STOCK relative to other assets increases over age 65. as shown in Tables 2. the fraction of households who are homeowners increases.RETIRE (10. 86. the portfolio share for ACCOUNT almost doubles both for homeowners and renters over the age of 65 compared to 50-64 year old group.6 percent of total assets in housing. For higher levels of income. Of the households with income above $100. The portfolio shares for other assets such as STOCK.7 percent are homeowners.000. Table 2. while the housing share of portfolio declines.6 percent. the share of the portfolio allocated to RESTATE and for all households.

the portfolio share for HOUSE declines with age among the households headed by persons below age 65. wealth. the relative changes in portfolio shares of assets by income. The first is their effect on the choice of tenure. The portfolio share for owner-occupied housing increases with the number of children. 60. age and wealth are similar. Homeowners invest a smaller share of their portfolio in interest-bearing accounts and stocks with an increase in the number of children. Tables 2. Second. Finally.liquid assets for nonfinancial assets. and 65. housing accounts for 56. and table 2. Also. Table 2. While portfolio composition differs considerably between renters and homeowners. the presence of children increases the share of the portfolio allocated to vehicles. Children are likely to affect the portfolio structures in two ways. For example. and age groups.3 percent for those with three or more children.4 and 2. Table 2. The results indicate that the number of children living in the household affects the portfolio shares for assets and 23 .9 percent for households with 2 children. The table indicates a strong relation between children and the share of portfolio allocated to housing.5 shows the portfolio shares by the number of children living in the household.5 reveal striking differences in portfolio structures across income.0 percent of the wealth for households with no children. and the second is their effect on asset shares of portfolios conditional upon ownership.3 investigates the effect of children on the tenure choice. but it stays steady after age 65.5 looks at the link between children and shares of assets in both renters’ and homeowners’ portfolios.

and 106 in 1998 had zero wealth holding. The other variables in X are chosen to be consistent with previous empirical studies. and the disturbance covariance matrix is singular. and RESTATE in the estimation of the model. Previous research also indicates that a household’s marginal tax rate (MRT) has an effect on its asset allocation decisions. Portfolio shares of the J + 1 assets and housing sum to one. 111 in 1992.898 households. and include ACCOUNT. Portfolio choice theory has shown the importance of age. The empirical model below investigates the effect of children on both asset shares and homeownership decision. permanent income and wealth in determining the asset shares in household portfolios.4 Estimation and Results The resulting set of equations constitutes an endogenous switching model in the form of a multivariate regression model. 410 report zero wealth holding. RETIRE. 100 in 1995. Moreover.the probability that a household owns a home. Age and age-squared of the household head are included to capture a possible change in portfolio behavior related to the life cycle.7 I exclude those households from the sample and correct for sample selection. 24 . Of 13. Thus. HOUSE. Dummy variables indicating the number and the age of children living in the household are included in X. I drop one group of assets. the marital 7 93 households in 1989. Then I solve for the parameters of OTHER from the other equations. VEHICLE. OTHER. 2. STOCK.

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

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

the expenditure on housing increases with the number of children. Homeowners with one child have 11. After the second child. For both renters and owners. but the number of children has no effect on renters’ expenditure. The age of the children in the household has no effect on the housing expenditure of renters nor homeowners.10 present the estimates of the housing expenditure equation. having more children increases the housing expenditures of homeowners by only 3. This implies that other than in regards to these three assets. By a typical household. RETIRE. 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. For homeowners. there were no significant differences in the average behavior of the two groups prior to home purchase.8 and 2.9 percent higher housing expenditure than homeowners with no child.2 percent. 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. and RESTATE.3 percent with the second child. 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. all of the children in the household are younger 29 . On the other hand. The housing expenditure of homeowners increases 8.11 presents the estimates of shares for assets that a typical homeowner holds. The last two columns in Tables 2.for ACCOUNT. Table 2. I mean a household headed by a white married.

160) and permanent income ($46.11 include both of these effects. 2. The portfolio shares of assets calculated in Table 2. As the household head reaches middle age. The chapter examines the impact of children on the homeownership decision and the constraint of consumption demand for owner-occupied housing. First. and its importance in the portfolio increase with the number of children living in the household. At all ages. Using a 30 . children change the demand for each asset. more is invested in RETIRE. 1992. conditional on the tenure choice. Second. VEHICLE is the second most important asset in the portfolio when the household head is 30 years old. HOUSE is the most important asset. children have two effects on the portfolio structure of households. 1995 and 1998 SCF. this chapter investigates how the number and the age of children living in the household influence the portfolio composition of households.than age 13. 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. The number of children has a negative effect on the portfolio share for RETIRE.690) and has a 15 percent marginal tax rate. The household head is willing to take risky investments and holds mean wealth ($188. As mentioned above.5 Conclusion Using the 1989. an increase in the number of children increases the probability that a household owns a home. and the share allocated to RETIRE becomes the second largest in the portfolio.

and the portfolio share for housing increases. Therefore.switching regression model that takes into account the consumption demand for housing. 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. This result suggests that.S. 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. for households with children. 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. the ratio of housing to total assets increases as the number of children increases. the portfolio share for financial assets such as interest-bearing accounts and retirement accounts decreases. Considerable research has focused on whether U. the ratio of retirement accounts to total assets in renters’ portfolios does not significantly decrease with the number of children. 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. the chapter compares the determinants of portfolio allocation of homeowners to that of renters. the consumption demand for housing is higher than the investment demand. One direction for further research is to include the liabilities and bor31 . However.

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

900 0.154 0. All variables are defined in Appendix A.054 49.319 50.65 0.1: 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 47.684 92. The text defines total assets.14 0.158 0.12 0.191 92.968 46.807 0.328 206.28 0.28 0. 1989-1998.66 0.59 0.65 0.815 258. permanent income and net worth.64 0.131 5.59 0.3 0.75 0.509 0.97 Source: Survey of Consumer Finances.97 48. 2) All dollar values are reported in 1998 dollars.151 203.75 0.829 116.28 0. 33 .164 0.658 222.8 0.525 101.12 0.61 3.83 0.58 0.80 0.97 48.750 0.9 0.55 3.5 0. Notes: 1) Tabulations are weighted using sample weights.Table 2.695 47.660 12.97 48.773 0.2.59 0.51 2.985 6.27 0.664 6.11 0.50 3.

059 0.072 Source: Survey of Consumer Finances. STOCK.076 0.105 0. VEHICLE.068 0.043 0. RETIRE.043 0.410 0.415 0.130 0.072 0.432 0.143 0.057 0.394 0.050 0.047 0.112 0.196 0. 1989-1998. RESTATE.076 0.094 0.067 0.2: Mean Asset Shares by Year 1989 Portfolio Shares ACCOUNT STOCK RETIRE HOUSE VEHICLE RESTATE OTHER 1992 1995 1998 0. Notes: 1) Tabulations are weighted using sample weights.Table 2.186 0.208 0.053 0.132 0. 34 . 2) The text defines the assets called ACCOUNT. and OTHER. HOUSE.059 0.197 0.

931 6.546 80.391 Source: Survey of Consumer Finances.456 11.29 4.645 61.378 $50-100K 29.72 14.081 6.46 72.93 1.72 3.79 64.081 $30-50K 29.400 5. 1998. Notes: 1) Tabulations are weighted using sample weights.475 5.12 80.22 64.065 7.43 9.866 4.35 42.28 9.030 Income Below $15K 10.677 6.293 $15-30K 22.04 5.89 6.843 9.486 95.883 Above $100K 8.748 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 22.078 7.90 12.03 21.3: Expenditure on Housing.847 15.77 67.803 8.69 4.973 6. 2) HH represents all households.024 6. 35 .08 22.976 7.741 7.564 5.69 3. HO represents homeowners and RR represents renters.438 8.042 6.78 7.42 78.002 6.72 78.54 5.Table 2.55 6. 1998 Eh 1998 dollars %HH %HO HO RR All households 100 66.49 36.496 6.50 51.195 5.90 19.26 21.555 93.46 14.29 68.24 86.09 64.183 7.16 12.40 34.587 95.22 7.17 15.489 32.764 6.38 29.263 5.

162 0.022 0.062 Above $100K 0.213 0.147 0.281 0.165 0.056 0.252 0.018 0.645 0.069 0.064 0.226 0.087 0.260 0.111 0 0.256 0. 1998 ACCOUNT STOCK RETIRE HOUSE VEHICLE HO RR HO RR HO RR HO RR HO RR 0.221 0.022 0.091 0.047 0.028 0.010 0.295 0.068 0 0.091 0.135 0.137 0.039 0 0.128 0.413 0.090 $30-50K 0.042 $50K-100K 0.090 0.047 0.132 0.047 0.062 0.062 Above 65 0.122 0.158 0.086 0.075 Age Under 35 0.089 0.052 0 0.490 0.127 0.112 0.051 0.694 0.082 Above 1000K 0.078 0.048 50-64 0.028 0.004 0.445 0.454 0.Table 2.389 0.143 0.019 0.055 0.086 0.199 0.157 0.234 0.485 0.608 0.040 0.151 0.049 0.007 0.107 0.075 continued on the next page.541 0.074 0.056 0.112 0.066 $50-100K 0.049 0.040 35-49 0.559 0.359 0.201 0.190 0.401 0.025 0.172 0.078 0.093 $15-30K 0.077 0.102 0.579 0 0.089 0.059 0.043 0 0.047 0.020 0.065 0.032 0.014 0 0.109 36 All households Income Below $15K 0.287 0.270 0.083 0.073 $250-1000K 0.181 0.050 0 0.080 0.293 0. .033 0.083 0.730 0.055 0.750 0.183 0.436 RESTATE HO RR 0.122 0.072 0.068 0.535 0.019 0.101 0.015 0.061 0.041 0.054 $100K-250K 0.759 0.080 0.054 0.162 0.587 0.415 0.092 0.166 0.031 0.097 0.046 0.046 0 0 0 0 0 0.238 0.091 0.489 0.212 0.149 0.071 0 0.251 0.192 0.374 0.135 0.011 0.111 0.129 Wealth Below $50K 0.4: Mean Asset Shares.149 0.064 0.088 0.630 0.453 0.002 0.205 0.021 0 0.071 0.017 0.049 0.027 0.061 0.

373 0.044 0.222 0.Table 2. and RESTATE. 1998.122 0.044 0.048 0.045 0.040 0.512 Children CHILD0 CHILD1 CHILD2 CHILD3 37 Source: Survey of Consumer Finances.471 0.038 0.032 0. .200 0.110 0.085 0. 1998: Continued ACCOUNT STOCK RETIRE HOUSE VEHICLE HO RR HO RR HO RR HO RR HO RR RESTATE HO RR 0.653 0 0 0 0 0.062 0.055 0. Notes: 1) Tabulations are weighted using sample weights. STOCK.102 0.609 0.088 0. RETIRE.052 0.5: Mean Asset Shares. 2) All dollar values are reported in 1998 dollars.117 0.070 0. The text defines the assets called ACCOUNT.087 0.115 0.495 0. 3) HO represents homeowners and RR represents renters.195 0.577 0.098 0.049 0.026 0.069 0.019 0.044 0.098 0.040 0. VEHICLE.038 0.074 0.288 0.089 0. HOUSE.087 0.061 0.560 0.

2.118 0.102 -0. The number of observations N=13.005 ** 0.080 0.143 0.287 0.040 -0.047 ** 0.137 0.404 0.010 2.046 0.579.000 0.049 ** 0.007 0.042 ** 0.053 0.005 ** 0.063 0. 38 . 2) Variables are defined in Appendix A.030 ** 0.050 CONSTANT AGE AGE2 /100 MARRIED FEMALE CHILD1 CHILD2 CHILD3 CHAGE13 INCOME/10.052 0.137 ** 0.044 ** 0.193 0.341 0.000 MTR RISKY WHITE YEAR92 YEAR95 YEAR98 Notes: 1) ** indicates significance at 1 percent level.052 ** 0.040 ** -0.096 0.210 0.153 ** 0.Table 2.029 -0.085 0.014 -0.004 ** 0.030 0.034 ** 0.174 0.304 0.072 0.261 0. and * indicates significance at 5 percent level.041 * -0.747 0.6: Results from Probit Estimation HOMEOWN Coefficient Standard Errors Marginal Effects -4.108 0.

001 0.003 ** YEAR92 -0.198 0.455 0.016 0.515 0.013 0.092 0.002 -0.008 -0.006 0.002 ** L ASSET 0.019 0.054 RETIRE Coef SE -0.008 0.002 0.067 0.007 -0.029 0.063 0.021 0.006 0.021 0.006 -0.022 0.010 0.007 0.021 0.003 0.056 0.005 0.010 0.020 0.002 0.026 0.031 0.009 0.003 ** YEAR98 -0.002 0.062 0.027 0.018 ** RISKY -0.011 0.031 * STOCK Coef SE -0.087 0. .020 -0.008 0.001 -0.005 0.029 0.003 -0.004 0.023 0.001 0.003 0.006 0.009 0.004 -0.006 ** CHILD3 -0.004 0.008 0.006 0.013 0.002 -0.115 0.307 0.001 0.003 -0.001 * MTR -0.013 0.001 -0.011 -0.006 * CHILD2 -0.003 -0.003 ** YEAR95 -0.054 ** AGE -0.005 CHILD1 -0.049 HOUSE Coef SE 1.007 0.003 0.7: Results: Asset Shares and Housing Expenditure of Homeowners ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** 39 ** ** ** ** * * ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** * ** ** ** * ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** * ** ACCOUNT Coef SE CONSTANT 0.021 0.010 0.002 -0.001 -0.009 0.006 ** FEMALE 0.007 0.009 0.023 0.006 -0.398 0.027 0.003 0.005 0.069 -0.020 0.006 0.002 0.007 0.063 0.190 0.021 0.006 L INCOME -0.001 0.005 -0.089 0.061 0.020 -0.024 0.016 0.001 0.007 -0.009 -0.059 0.024 0.Table 2.008 0.003 -0.006 -0.027 0.023 0.000 0.005 0.008 0.024 0.005 0.004 0.112 0.006 -0.005 -0.001 0.003 0.006 -0.003 -0.006 0.018 ** MR:+ wealth -0.056 0.007 -0.004 0.039 VEHICLE Coef SE 0.003 -0.012 0.032 0.001 0.432 0.001 0.008 0.010 ** * ** continued on the next page.009 0.006 0.004 ** MR:home -0.007 0.001 ** MARRIED -0.004 0.033 0.037 0.007 0.010 0.004 0.003 0.007 -0.005 0.049 0.063 0.002 0.013 0.007 -0.125 0.004 0.012 0.010 0.007 ** CHAGE13 -0.026 0.004 0.005 0.002 -0.001 ** AGE2 /100 0.002 0.000 0.008 0.077 0.

119 0.003 0. RETIRE.023 0.021 0. All variables are defined in Appendix A.008 0.023 0. RESTATE.008 CHAGE13 0.246 0.006 -0.003 ** L ASSET 0.001 0.002 0.005 -0.025 0.025 MR: + wealth 0.018 -0.189 0.018 0.010 0.002 ** 2 AGE /100 -0.393 -0.004 -0.002.018 0.004 -0.004 -0.024 0.002 0.004 0. and OTHER.025 ** RISKY -0. and * indicates significance at 5 percent level.002 ** MTR -0.220 0.008 CHILD2 -0.015 0.080 ** AGE 0.007 ** * * 1. The number of observations N=10.014 0.202 0.005 -0.003 0.094 0.010 0.005 -0.003 -0.234 0.009 FEMALE -0.307 0.024 0.001 -0.011 ** 0.002 0.017 0.036 0.004 0.2.002 0.008 0.053 OTHER Coef SE -0.068 0.043 0.052 0.503 0.004 0.009 ** CHILD1 -0.8: Homeowners: Continued ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** 40 log Eh Coef SE * -0.116 0. HOUSE.036 Notes: 1) ** indicates significance at 1 percent level. STOCK.010 0.001 0.004 -0.025 0.002 -0.015 0.017 0.001 ** MARRIED -0.004 0.120 ** ** ** ** ** RESTATE Coef SE CONSTANT -0.584 0.568 0.001 0.066 0.049 -0.008 0.007 0.Table 2.025 -0.006 0.015 -0.004 0.012 0.158 0.004 0.001 0. VEHICLE.204 0.005 * YEAR95 0.000 0.005 YEAR92 0.017 0.005 YEAR98 -0. 2) The text defines the assets called ACCOUNT. .177 0.025 0. MR represents Mills Ratio.019 0.005 ** MR:home -0.008 ** CHILD3 -0.001 0.032 0.007 * L INCOME -0.181 0.

019 0.014 YEAR95 -0.014 0.015 -0.052 0.028 0.074 0.026 -0.051 0.038 0.035 VEHICLE Coef SE 2.017 CHILD2 -0.002 0.019 -0.021 0.018 0.070 0.027 0.010 0.032 0.064 ** 0.059 0.021 ** CHAGE13 -0.002 0.003 0.015 -0.003 0.130 0.027 0.068 0.793 0.026 0.079 0.054 0.001 0.077 0.001 0.035 0.013 * CHILD1 -0.001 0.021 ** FEMALE 0.038 * MR:+ wealth 0.000 0.030 0.016 0.381 0.097 -0.061 0.004 0. .010 0.017 0.006 -0.034 0.053 ** continued on the next page.019 ** CHILD3 -0.013 0.005 0.022 L INCOME 0.243 0.204 0.017 0.012 YEAR92 -0.019 0.004 0.011 ** 0.103 -0.010 0.015 * YEAR98 0.014 0.001 0.012 0.014 ** 0.173 AGE -0.019 0.086 0.120 0.037 RETIRE Coef SE ** -0.025 0.002 ** 0.002 ** MARRIED -0.015 0.002 ** -0.006 0.019 0.003 0.033 0.011 0.039 STOCK Coef SE -0.020 -0.004 -0.007 0.008 0.9: Results: Asset Shares and Housing Expenditure of Renters ** ** ** ** ** ** ** * ** ** ** ** ** ** * ** ** ** 41 ACCOUNT Coef SE CONSTANT 0.154 ** 0.008 -0.014 MR:home -0.285 0.026 -0.011 -0.019 0.031 0.013 0.050 0.010 0.008 0.005 0.015 0.014 0.Table 2.007 0.012 0.033 0.003 ** AGE2 /100 0.015 0.023 0.079 * RISKY 0.080 0.009 0.014 0.015 0.029 0.000 0.005 0.007 0.109 0.011 0.004 ** MTR 0.024 0.319 0.022 0.029 0.089 0.014 0.017 0.072 0.018 0.008 -0.001 0.014 ** L ASSET -0.001 -0.020 0.243 -0.059 0.039 0.048 -0.023 0.

035 -0.030 0.001 0. MR represents Mills Ratio. RETIRE.017 0.014 -0. and OTHER.580 0.030 0. 2) The text defines the assets called ACCOUNT.10: Renters: Continued ** ** 42 log Eh Coef SE 4.021 0.012 CHILD3 -0.009 * YEAR95 -0.003 -0. .073 ** 0.014 0.110 0.004 0. All variables are defined in Appendix A.014 0.102 0.029 0.577.011 CHILD2 -0. RESTATE.010 * YEAR98 -0.010 0.005 0.008 RISKY 0.020 0.130 * AGE 0.062 0.109 0.007 0.016 0.002 -0.015 FEMALE -0.045 0.030 0.020 0.004 -0.365 0.064 0.027 0.005 0.018 0.014 CHAGE13 -0.012 0.014 -0.173 0.033 ** MR: + wealth -0.2.005 0.061 0.005 ** -0.002 2 AGE /100 -0. VEHICLE.004 0. HOUSE.020 0.038 0.069 0.038 ** Notes: 1) ** indicates significance at 1 percent level and * indicates significance at 5 percent level.035 0.Table 2.038 0.083 0.125 -0.014 -0.002 * MARRIED 0. STOCK.004 0.003 -0.067 0.033 -0.010 L INCOME 0.001 0.011 0.014 -0.054 MTR -0.003 ** L ASSET -0.017 0.030 0.285 -0.042 0.315 0.014 0.022 0.334 0.118 0.001 0.001 0.006 ** ** RESTATE Coef SE CONSTANT -0. The number of observations N=3.022 0.002 0.001 0.000 0.020 -0.010 CHILD1 0.012 0.037 0.024 MR: home 0.189 0.036 0.032 0.073 * ** ** ** OTHER Coef SE 0.001 0.044 0.017 0.365 -0.011 -0.011 0.004 0.009 YEAR92 -0.038 0.

036 0.103 0.061 0.044 0.577 0.038 0.054 0.064 0.114 0. 43 .111 0.023 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.Table 2.100 0.122 0.053 Notes: The text defines the assets called ACCOUNT.128 0.047 0.617 0.607 0.057 0.099 0.058 0.058 0.088 0.043 0.043 0.040 0.036 0.112 0.048 0.043 0.602 0.049 0. VEHICLE.650 0.534 0.101 0.120 0.093 0.044 0.094 0.590 0.049 0.043 CHILD1 0.030 CHILD2 CHILD3 0.102 0.056 0.642 0.037 0.056 0.611 0.049 0.047 0. HOUSE.095 0.079 0.086 0.096 0.070 0. RETIRE.626 0.141 0.089 0.053 0.132 0.033 0.063 0.038 0.055 0.055 0.090 0. STOCK.105 0. and RESTATE.047 0.594 0.552 0.064 0.

Dynan [18] and Starr-McCluer [50] find lit1 2 See Zeldes [58]. 44 . [32] and Carroll [9]. As an extension to the traditional life-cycle model. consumption profiles over age are hump-shaped. these models are able to explain some of the empirical consumption puzzles. Skinner [48]. however. 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. Deaton [15] and Browning and Lusardi [6] give a list of empirical puzzles.1 Introduction Many recent studies have recognized the role of precautionary motives on household saving behavior. the standard life-cycle model suggests that households smooth consumption and spread resources across periods of high and low income. In many household-level data sets. tracking the ageearnings profile. Hubbard et al.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. empirical work on the strength of precautionary saving has provided mixed evidence. Yet. Kimball [39].2 For example.

Browning and Lusardi [6] and Carroll et al. whereas Carroll and Samwick [11]. finally. This chapter takes account of the fact that children are endogenous along with the The problems include proxying certainty. and incorporating the restrictions of the theoretical model. Yet the causal effect might go in the opposite direction. that is. Most of a household’s saving motives can be grouped into one of three categories: life-cycle motives. the life-cycle motive includes saving for children’s education. and. By examining the implications of uncertainty on the fertility decisions of households and incorporating fertility decisions into household saving decisions. It seems reasonable that these motives are affected by the presence of children. the precautionary motive includes saving to protect the well-being of children against income fluctuations. [12] and Lusardi [44] find more support for the precautionary motive.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. household income or the age of the head might affect household saving and fertility simultaneously.tle or no evidence for precautionary motive. See Browning and Lusardi [6] and Carroll et al. [10] suggest that the mixed results might be due to the difficulties in empirically testing for precautionary saving. and bequest motives. ignoring the effect of uncertainty on household composition. 3 45 . For example. Furthermore. finding an appropriate instrument. this chapter extends the empirical work on precautionary saving. fertility might be affected by uncertainty or income fluctuations. the bequest motive includes saving to leave assets to children. [10] for the details. given precautionary and other motives. precautionary motives.

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. 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. The second most frequent reason was saving for retirement. respectively. namely. This suggests that the relative importance of saving for each motive depends highly on the composition and the life-cycle stage of the household. [30] for a survey of life-cycle fertility models. and saving for the education of children peaking between age 31-40.saving behavior when estimating the effect of children on savings.1 percent.3). When disaggregated into age groups. retirement. Wolpin [57] estimates a dynamic stochastic model of fertility within 4 See Hotz et al.7 and 4. The proportion of households citing saving for children’s educational expenses and home purchase were 5. This chapter also addresses a neglected topic in the childbearing literature. all of the four reasons reveal a hump shape: saving for ‘rainy days’ peaking in the 41-50 age group. More than 32 percent reported that ‘rainy days’ were an important motivation for saving. saving for retirement peaking between age 51 and 60.4 For example. 46 . with 18 percent.1 presents the proportion of households citing the following motives -‘rainy’ days. Table 3. Most life-cycle fertility models incorporate some types of uncertainty. the effect of income uncertainty on fertility over the life-cycle.

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

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

where ∗ ∆CHILDit = 1 if ∆CHILDit > 0 = 0 otherwise.3). where η0 . income and characteristics in 1983 and 1989. First. This data set contains detailed information on household assets. This implies that households with higher income variability are less likely to have a child. η1 and η2 are parameters to be estimated. Maddala [45] shows that the resulting estimates of the coefficients are consistent. The model is estimated using a two- stage estimation procedure described in Maddala [45]. If consumers react to increases in uncertainty by cutting down their consumption. liabilities. and η1 should be negative. then they should also reduce their ‘consumption’ of children. as suggested by the precautionary saving model. 3. and u2it is an error term representing unobservable variables. Note that the model is identified even if u1it and u2it are not independent s c and Xit includes all the variables in Xit .2) by OLS for all of the sample after substituting γ2 for γ2 for the fecund population ˆ and 0 for the other households.3 Data The data set used for estimation is the 1983 and 1989 panel of the SCF. The 1983 SCF interviewed a 51 . Then I estimate the equation (3. 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.

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

All values are converted to 1989 dollars using the Consumer Price Index Research Series Using Current Methods(CPI-U-RS). 103 households in the 1983 SCF. and 1985 are drawn from the 1986 wave of SCF which was conducted with a large subset of 1983 respondents using a shorter questionnaire. To remove the predictable component of income growth. 1984. To exclude the capital gains. 2. 1986. ‘In [the preceding calendar year] how much was the total income you (and your family living here) received from all sources. The first measure assumes that households have knowledge about their future income and expect their income to change over time as household characteristics change. 822 were reinterviewed in 1986 using a shorter questionnaire. education. 8 9 Income uncertainty at- Of the 4. 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. dummies representing asset holdings in 1983. household demographic variables and age-interaction terms. The precautionary saving model predicts that income risk regarding capital income might have a different effect 53 . 1987 and 1988 are drawn from the 1983-1989 panel. The income measure comes from the question. I kept the value of the primary residence constant.The inconsistency seems to be lower for home purchases (Kennickell and StarrMcCluer [38]). 9 The income measure includes both capital and non-capital income.8 Income values for 1982. year dummies. I regress log income on age. I define two measures of income uncertainty. before taxes and other deductions were made?’ Income of the households for 1983. Using the panel dimension of income observations in the data.

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

See Kennickell and Starr-McCluer [37] for details. 000. The sample selection criteria for the sample are as follows. 000 is somewhat arbitrary. 035 households with the heads between the age of 22 and 88 in 1983. The final sample consists of 1.12 To calculate an accurate measure of income uncertainty.e. The variable ∆CHILD indiThe cut-off net worth of $10 million and saving of $600. Of the remaining 1.2 illustrates the composition of the sample in detail.. Therefore. In the panel 1983-89 SCF. households that experienced a change in composition such as marriage.180 households. those households with more than three missing or non-positive income values are dropped. this exclusion or a similar one is necessary when working with means which are affected by outliers.479 experienced a major change in family composition and were dropped from the sample.to exclude for identification is problematic.13 Table 3. 13 The sample design in 1983 specifically excluded households with the heads under the age of 22. 84 were dropped because of outlying net worth or saving values and 66 were dropped because of missing income values.) 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. 299 households out of 1. 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. divorce. 12 55 . However. All variables are described in detail in Appendix B. A household is only included in the analysis if it remained intact between 1983 and 1989 (i. I use VRL and VRLI without an instrumental variable estimator.1.

mostly married (89. which is $37. 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. and saved more compared to the other households in the sample. 18.14 I refer to the households that had a child as households with an additional child. 14 56 . The average net worth for households with an additional child is $82. Columns (3) and (4) of Table 3. According to the SCF data.3 percent had two children and 1. I use a probit model and a dummy variable to indicate the fertility choice instead of using a count data model.179 less than the mean net worth of the rest of the fecund houseOnly 3.3 percent of the families experienced more than one birth during that time period-2.1 percent). Among fecund households.6 percent of the fecund households had a child between 1983 and 1989. i.are plausible: households with an additional child are younger. respectively. Fecund households are headed by younger persons.cates the fertility of the household between 1983 and 1989.2 provides the variable means by household fertility of the fecund households.e. comparisons across the two groups of households .611 in 1983. ∆CHILD = 1 if the household experienced at least one birth of a child..0 percent had three. had less net worth in 1983. Columns (1) and (2) provide the variable means and standard deviations of all of the households in the sample and the fecund households.with and without an additional child . but had higher income between 1983 and 1989. Therefore. fecund households are faced with higher income uncertainty than the rest of the sample. have higher expected income and have a higher number of young (0-6 years old) children in 1983. Also.

Also. The homeownership proportion among households with an additional child was 53. 690. 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. Households in the bottom 25 and top 10 percent of the SAVE2 distribution face higher income variability than the rest of sample. 170 and $8.7 percent in 1983 and rose to 77.holds. When households are grouped by SAVE1. Uncertainty estimates are greater for households with mean income below $10.8 percent in 1989. we observe that households who had a child are faced with lower income uncertainty (0. 000.3.191). from 67.0 percent in 1983 to 72. 648 and $6. the increase is insignificant. The homeownership proportion for the rest of the fecund sample is higher in 1983 but compared to the households with an additional child. respectively. This suggests that households at the tails of the income distribution face higher uncertainty. According to SAVE1 and SAVE2. households with an additional child saved more than the rest of the fecund sample. On the other hand. the bottom 25 percent of the distribution faces a lower income variability than the households in the 25-50 percent of 57 . when we compare the income uncertainty of the two groups. 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. 462.132 versus 0. they saved $11.5 in 1989. 000 and above $60. while fecund households without an additional child saved $7. The measures of income uncertainty by household characteristics are given in Table 3.

0 otherwise.5 shows the results of the probit analysis of the fertility de- cision of the fecund sample. When grouped according to the number of children. and 1 percent among the age 40 and above group. income and income uncertainty by childbearing decisions and the age of the household head. Table 3. Difference between the savings of households with and without an additional child increase as the age of the household head increases. and their permanent income is higher. The dependent variable is ∆CHILD = 1 if the household had a child between 1983-89.4 represents household saving. for whom it reaches its highest value. For other SAVE1 groups.the SAVE1 distribution. The right-hand variables include factors that are expected to affect the demand for a child. regardless of the uncertainty measure. Considering the income uncertainty. income uncertainty is lower except the top 10 percent of the distribution. Households that had a child save more. the estimates of income uncertainty decrease as the number of children living in household in 1983 increases. households with young and middle age heads that had a child face lower income variability. 58 .4 Estimation and Results Table 3. Households who had a child between 1983-89 are different from other households in terms of their saving. income and income variability. Almost 36 percent of the households with heads below age 31 in 1983 had a child during the following six year period. regardless of how savings were measured. versus 16 percent of the households with heads between age 31-40. 3.

column (3) uses VRLI and mean income. 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. homeownership in 1983 (HOWN83). number of adults living in the household (NADULT). The results in table 3. indicating that being one year older reduces the probability of having another child by 1 percent. 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. whereas older households with small children are more likely to experience another birth. The signs of the age interaction terms imply that older homeowners are less likely to have a child. The coefficient of age is highly significant and negative.5 and 0.5 show that other things being equal. PERMINC and TRANSINC). column (2) uses VLI and mean income and finally. a 0.1 increase in VRLI and VRL decreases the probability of having a child by 0. The analysis in column (1) uses VRLI as the income uncertainty measure and permanent and transitory income as the income measures. age (AGE).namely. respectively. marital status (MARRIED). number of young (YOUNGCH). an income risk measure (VRLI and VLI). race of the household head (WHITE). Evaluated at the sample mean values. a household income measure (MEANINC. a dummy indicating whether spouse works full time at paid employment in 1983 (SPFULLT).6 percent. A married household is 8 to 10 percent more 59 . middle (MIDDCH) and older (HIGHSCH) children in 1983 and the interaction terms for age (AGE83×HOWN83 and AGE×YOUNGCH).

age interaction terms (AGE×NCHILD and age×∆CHILD) and income uncertainty interaction terms (VRLI (VRL)×NWORTH25 and VRLI (VRL)×NWORTH90). the income uncertainty interaction terms show whether or not . a self-described expectation to leave a bequest (BEQUEST83). TRANSINC and MEANINC). the probability of having a child seems to increase with income. the behavior of the wealthy and the not wealthy are different than the rest of the population. both permanent income and mean income in columns (1) and (2) are significant. Similarly. 60 . Estimates of the saving equations are presented in tables 3.6 and 3. Finally. the number of adults and children living in the household (NADULT and NCHILD).7 use the same income and uncertainty measures as columns (1)-(3) in table 3. Columns (1)-(3) in tables 3. namely. compared to households headed by an unmarried person. The predicted probability of having a child.5. is included as a right-hand variable with other factors that might affect the saving behavior. ∆CHILD. the change in the number of adults between 1983-1989 (∆NADULT).7 for SAVE1 and SAVE2. income (PERMINC. However. 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. in terms of the effect of uncertainty. transitory income in column (1) has a negative effect and mean income in column (3) is insignificant. age of the head (AGE).6 and 3.likely to have another child. a measure of income uncertainty (VRLI and VRL). a dummy indicating having 1983 net worth in the top 10 percent and bottom 25 percent (NWORTH90 and NWORTH25).

34. 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.24 in column (1) of Table 3. households in the top 10 percent of the wealth distribution save almost $11. let us look at the effect of the number of adults living in the household.6 and Table 3. the results in Table 3.6 show that households in the top 10 percent of the wealth distribution and with VRLI of 0.162 save about $15.7 do not the support the idea that households save a higher fraction of transitory income. and it is significantly lower than the estimated propensity to save out of permanent income. Before we examine the effect of children on savings. evaluated at the sample average of VRLI.000 more than the rest of the sample. Both SAVE1 and SAVE2 reduce with the number of adults living in the household.447.132-$8.6 and SAVE 2 in Table 3. which is 0.The results for two measures of savings are quite similar (SAVE1 in Table 3. Saving also increases with income. Having 1983 net worth in the top 10 percent is associated with higher levels of SAVE1 and SAVE2 in all specifications.500 less than the rest of the population whereas households in the bottom 25 percent of the wealth distribution save $3.500 less than the rest of the population as a result of an increase in income uncertainty. Changes in the number of adults between 1983 61 . around $7. regardless of the measure. For example.7). which is 0. However. The results in Table 3.6. The estimated coefficient of the propensity to save out of transitory income is 0. respectively.162.

age does not affect the savings behavior of those without children. When we control for permanent income as in column (1) of Tables 3.7. however. households expecting to leave a bequest save significantly more (around $12. For this. 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. we observe that the effects of the children and age interaction terms decrease but do not disappear. Also. Having an additional child reduces savings. 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. 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.and 1989. however being one year older and having an additional child increases savings. do not affect SAVE1 but appear to reduce SAVE2. The same is true for the number of children living in the household. the sample is restricted to only fecund households.6 and 3.555-$12.796 more) than household that do not expect to leave a bequest. and the fertility decision is modeled as an endoge- 62 . That is another impact of children on household savings. Controlling for the number of children already living in the household.

15 The results are given in Table 3. implying that younger households save less whereas older 15 See Maddala [45] for the models with self-selectivity.8.nous switching model. In estimating this effect. 63 .6. 3. The results show that households would have saved around $2.695-13. The empirical results suggest that income uncertainty directly affects the probability of having a child. I take into account the fact that fertility decisions are endogenous to household saving decisions. Finally. The direction of the response.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. even after controlling for several demographic characteristics. average SAVE1 of the households that did not have a child is around $12. 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.133 according to the results of the three regressions in Tables 3.066 less if they had chosen to have a child. however. This finding suggests that the overall effect of children on household saving is negative. Overall. changes in the number of children and children already living in the household reveal a significant effect on household savings. depends on the age of the household head.297-4.

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

362 0.122 0.017 0.047 0.S. population as a whole.117 0.111 0.041 Children 0.230 0. buying home and education of children respectively.047 0.016 0. 1983 All By Age Below 31 31-40 41-50 51-60 61-70 70 and over Rainy Days Retirement Home 0. Notes: The table reports the proportion of households citing the selected motives as the most important reason for saving as ‘rainy days’.000 0.000 Source: Survey of Consumer Finances.323 0. Observations are weighted to reflect the U.065 0.192 0.Table 3.057 0.010 0.052 0. Number of observations: 1035.176 0.273 0.289 0.326 0.011 0.1: Saving Motives by Age Groups. retirement.004 0.250 0. 65 .383 0.206 0.345 0. 1983-1989.

795 0.788 0.490 0.1 12.112 2.645 0.151 N 1035 509 422 87 Note: ∆CHILD=1 if the household had a child between 1983 and 1989 (0 otherwise).189 38.169 Fecund HH ∆CHILD = 0 8282 7648 6868 6462 43109 44122 40171 39921 112861 119790 36.407 0.537 0.725 0.778 0.297 0.437 0.197 ∆CHILD = 1 11170 8690 38852 41210 82611 30.6 13.2: 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 45.424 0.001 0.460 0.8 12.334 0.120 0.4 0.1 0.670 0.055 0.092 2.747 0.180 0. 66 .652 0.289 0.672 0.938 0.Table 3.1. All variables are described in Appendix B.191 0.791 1.4 13. Observations are weighted using the sample weights.537 0.780 0.135 0.372 0.186 2.246 0.845 0.9 0.7 0.725 0.734 0.516 2.624 0.891 0. The table reports means of the variables.456 0.556 0.162 0.487 0.767 1.302 0.132 0. All dollar values are in 1989 dollars.

2579) $7.2281 (0.0 0.6786) (0.9431) (0.0977 (0.1707 (0.1095 0.4780) $ 10.1996) (0.726.2274) (-$1.232 25.2 0.1527 (0.1027 0.1056 0.2713 (0.2117 (0.078) 25.0902 (0.3362 0.265-52.1889 (0.057-30.1462 (0.0 0.0 0.2330 (0.0 0.2458) 0.1832 (0.1269 (0.446 15.2269) (0.1363 (0.0 0.1479 (0. All variables are defined in Appendix B.489 25.1284 (0.265 25.4092) (0.4881) (0.999 37.0988 (0.492 15.000 14.000 12. Observations are weighted using the sample weights (N=1305).4472) (0.1296 (0.4940) (0.2 0.0 0.1088 (0.3980) Above $24.2825) (0.4963) 0.1194 (0.2642) $30.6129) (-$739)-1.0 0.1.1912 0.10.999 36.169 (0.9087) NWORTH Below $10.125 25.5537) $ 1.426) MEANINC Below $10.1794) Above $30.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.818 10.000-59.0 0.4232) $10.1808) (0. 67 .2290 0.446 10.2371) $1.5066) 1 Child 17.818 15.7 0.162 (0.0 0.1312 (0.078)-1.3: Mean Income Uncertainty by Household Demographics % HH VRLI All 100 0.433) 0. and VLI is the variance of log income.492 10.1184 0.1855 (0.Table 3.2374 (0.2740) (0.0 0.2134 0.3333) (0.3524) (0.3230) $127.1715 (0.1559 0.0998 0.490-7.1436 0.2920 0.2973) Note: Standard deviations are given in parentheses.000-29.3334) $52.1716 (0.2013 0.5836) (0.2299 0.126-24.5245) 0.6504) $10.7517 25.5530) NCHILD No Children 55.6357) (0.1451 0.2210) (0.3376) VLI 0.2171) 2 and more 27.5512) SAVE2 Below (-$739) 25.2086) Above $314.0 0.1468 0.2738) (0. VRLI is the variance of residual log income.3279) SAVE1 Below (-$1.2449) (0.2391 (0.3234 (0.725 25.0 0.2657) Above $60.1330 0.233-12.056 25.1 0.7 0.518-314.0 0.1803 0.

257 43.3064 0. All variables are defined in Appendix B.2261 Note: ∆CHILD=1 if household had a child between 1983-1989 (0 otherwise).1.899 0. 68 .220 34. 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 12.2920 6.1727 3.8 10.1774 0.2376 VLI 0.3 8.5 24.812 6.487 0.390 52.628 0.1839 0. and VLI is the variance of log income. VRLI is the variance of residual log income.0841 56.4: Savings.477 40.049 5.619 3.272 9.528 4.769 0.Table 3.0812 0.5 4.9 11.1507 20.636 27.1369 0.331 23.884 36.422 0.912 0.1 4.1408 0.

060 -160.564 HOWN83 2.068 YOUNGCH -1.0844] [-0.31 0.001** 0.019** 0.0786] [-0.130** 0.410 0. ** indicates significance at 5 percent level.331 HIGHSCH -0.392** 0.369 [-0.060 -2.0675] -0.062 -160.543 0.768 0.0613] 0.0001] [ 0.020** [-.225** 0.063 0.31 0.0787] [-0.1038] [-0.545 0.20 Pseudo R2 0.0426] -0. Number of observations N=509.409 0.027** 0.000* 0.175** 0.2375] -2.024** 0.5: Probit: Fertility Decision of Fecund Households (2) Coef StdE 1. and HAGE is HOWN83×AGE.0920] 1.001 1. Marginal effects are given in the brackets.0612] [0. .720* -0.154** 0.369 -0. and * indicates significance at 10 percent level.203** (1) Coef StdE 1.627** 0.001 MEANINC/1000 MARRIED 1.0008] [-.749** -0.063 0.154** 0.229 -0.175** 0.0094] [-.000 0.130** 0.623** 0.1037] [-0.3340] [-0.0577] (3) Coef StdE 1.448 0.186** [-.565 1.024** 0.073 SPFULLT -0.627** 0.366 -0.Table 3.134 0.35 0.389 0.397 0.060 [-0.0845] [-0.0541] -0.001* [ 0.0550] [-0.1040] [-0.00 0.3338] [-0.166** 0.001 1.228 WHITE -0.420 YAGE 0.236 [-0.384** 0.077 0.208** 0.886** 0.0625] -0.049 Likelihood -152.020** -0.980 -0.998 -0.047 [-0.714 NADULTS 0.418 0. YAGE is YOUNGCH×AGE.225** [-.006 TRANSINC/1000 -0.0553] [-0.0001] [ 0.047 -0.0095] [-.021** -0.1041] [-0.130 0.368 -0.024** Note: Coef reports coefficients and StdE reports standard errors.232 HAGE -0.886** 0.019** 0.0099] [-.132** 0.717* -0.178** 0.0594] 69 CONSTANT AGE VLRI VLI PERMINC/1000 0.131 0.0829] [-0.385** 0.14 0.953** 0.566 [-0.357 0.844 MIDDCH -0.1297] [ 0.208** 0.

035.22 -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 * . and * indicates significance at 10 percent level.Table 3.22 ** ** ** ** ** Note: Coef reports coefficients and StdE reports standard errors. .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 . ** indicates significance at 5 percent level.22 257 53 -7244 3908 -24818 11791 707 319 12952 5786 -7845 5112 . Number of observations=1.

18 223 57 -8264 3929 -24089 11699 686 319 11736 5772 -10074 5321 . ** indicates significance at 5 percent level. Number of observations=1. and * indicates significance at 10 percent level.Table 3.7: 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 .18 Note: Coef reports coefficients and StdE reports standard errors.035. .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 * .

154 10.Table 3.133 12.672 8.375 422 422 422 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. 72 .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) 13.695 12.527 10.

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

Dick and Edlin [16] and Long [43] have recently examined the adverse effect of the means-tested student aid process on household asset accumulation. The college financial aid system imposes an implicit tax on the savings of households that are potentially eligible for financial assistance. To date.441. According to their estimation. which is 12 percent of the aggregate net worth in 1983. as shown in Long [43]. Feldstein [22]. 74 . 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. Long [43] finds that the effect of the financial aid tax on asset holdings is smaller than the effect in the prior literature. contributions to children’s education yield a wealth of $1.5 billion. Edlin [19]. According to Edlin [19] and Feldstein [22]. Using the data on actual expenditures on children’s college education. Second. Gale and Scholz [23] convert the flow of college support to a stock of wealth using steady-state assumptions. 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. families who save for college reduce their eligibility for financial aid. However. the financial aid tax rate on capital income can be as high as 50 percent. Using alternate but also plausible assumptions.contributions totaled about $35 billion. the results in Edlin [19] and Feldstein [22] depend on a variety of assumptions such as the number of children enrolled in college. anticipated college costs and the amount of aid that is received and so on.

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

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

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

while only 2.1 also shows the percentage of households citing each saving motive by the number of children and net worth in 1983. among households with 1 or 2 children. the percentage of households citing ‘rainy days’ and other reasons as the most important reason decreases. Controlling for the number of children.’ retirement and other reasons show a systematic trend relative to the total number of children.3 percent vs. 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. This table shows that the number of 78 . and the percentage of households citing retirement as the most important reason increases. 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. Among the households in the higher wealth groups.The percentage of households saving for ‘rainy days. For example.4 percent in the top 25 percentile report saving for retirement. 5. Among the households in the bottom 25 percentile of the wealth distribution.8 percent). As the number of children increases. the effect of the number of children on the percentage of households reporting saving for children’s education disappears. Table 4. 24.7 percent of those in bottom 25 percentile of wealth distribution report saving for retirement. 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. the percentage of households saving for retirement increases with wealth.

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

and the family consumes together c1 and saves A to earn interest at the rate of r. Section 4. In the second period.1) . e. and the number of children to maximize U = U (c1 . 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. a couple earns y1 .alyzes a model of the quality-quantity interaction of fertility with household savings. Section 4. In the first period. second-period consumption.3 describes the 1983-86 SCF.4 provides a framework for the empirical analysis of the interaction between savings and college expenditures.2) (4. per capita college investment is assumed to be equal for all n children. c2 .3) (4. a summary and conclusions are presented in Section 4. Section 4.5 estimates the determinants of college expenditures and uses these estimates to investigate the effect of expected college expenditures on household savings. Parents choose first-period consumption.6. 4. n) subject to c1 = y1 − A c2 = y2 + (1 + r)A − πen 80 (4.2 A Model of Saving for College This section considers a world in which individuals (parents) live for two periods. Finally. chooses to have n children. For simplicity. investment to each child’s education.

7) where U1 and U2 are the marginal utility of consumption in the first and second periods.where π is the price of education. The first-order conditions are −U1 + (1 + r)U2 = 0 −πnU2 + Ue = 0 −πeU2 + Un = 0 (4. Since the right-hand side is a constant. This expression implies that an increase in educational expenses decreases the second-period consumption relative to first-period consumption.2) and (4. which results in an increase in accumulated assets. Substituting (4. equation (4. 81 . n) (4.8) where γ is the elasticity of substitution.3) into (4.5) (4.6) (4. and Un is the marginal utility of family size. e. a decrease in second-period consumption is likely to decrease the first-period consumption. If the utility function is CES with equal elasticity of substitution between all arguments.5) can be written as follows: 1 y1 − A = (1 + r) γ−1 . y2 + (1 + r)A − πen (4. Ue is the marginal utility of children’s education.1) yields the following unconstrained maximization problem: U = U (y1 − A. y2 + (1 + r)A − πen.4) where the three choice variables are accumulated assets (A). respectively. educational expenses (e) and the number of children (n).

then U2 is a convex function. 3 82 . The empirical specification of the model described below controls for precautionary saving while it estimates the effect of educational expenses on household savings. household saving can be associated with two different saving motives: saving for uncertainty about future income (precautionary saving) and saving for children’s education. 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. If the third derivative is positive.6) and (4. 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 (4.7).3 The combination of a positive third derivative of the utility function and uncertainty about future income reduces consumption in the first period. In this case. 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.To extend the analysis to account for uncertainty. When uncertainty about future income is assumed. This interdependence implies an inverse relationship between the number of children and educational expenses. let us assume that the second period wage income y2 is stochastic. E1 [U2 ] exceeds U2 [E1 ].

including those not living in the household. liabilities. The 1983 survey contains interviews from a random sample of 3. college expenditure.4. The SCF contains detailed information on household assets.3 Data The empirical analysis uses data from the 1983-1986 SCF. The variables used in the empirical analysis are classified into four groups: fertility.822 of these households were reinterviewed. The first measure. savings and other control variables. 2. SAVE1. The fertility variable (CHILD) is the number of children of either the respondent or spouse. I use the number of children attending college and the number of years they attended to normalize college expenditures. the data does not differentiate between children away in college or living on their own and with former spouses. 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. income and demographic characteristics.824 households and a high-income supplement of 438 households. 4 83 . Unfortunately. Household savings are measured in two ways.4 The college expenditure variable (COLLEXP) captures the quality dimension associated with the expenditure per child. The college expenditure variable is the outlay of college education per child. In 1986. This variable includes children of previous marriages living with former spouses. The respondents were also asked how many years of college their children completed from 1983-85. In 1986.

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

Table 4. According to the first measure of savings.1 gives a detailed definition of the variables used in the estimation of the model.000 are excluded to avoid the difficulty of modeling the relationship between educational expenditures and savings. households with family income above $100. These restrictions leave us with a sample containing 1. Estimating the relationship between savings and educational expenditures is complicated for families who experienced a major change in composition such as marriage and divorce.931 and $3.3 presents average household savings and college expenses by 85 . Also. Appendix C.806 and according to second measure. the average expenditure is $2. respectively.575 in 1986 dollars. The average household in the sample is headed by a forty two year old married high school graduate and includes two children.690 households. Permanent and transitory incomes in 1985 are $25. The average household net worth in 1983 is $81. The sample is restricted to families that did not change composition from 1983-86.296.005. the typical household saves $5. The head of the median household reports that it is all right to borrow money for educational expenses.is the difference between reported income in 1985 and estimated permanent income. Table 4. The sample is also constrained to include only the households with nonretired household heads and their spouses if the head is married. it saves $4. Households with retired household heads are assumed to be in the life-cycle stage of dissaving.811. For households with nonzero college expenditures.2 presents summary statistics of the variables used.

9) (4. However.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.the number of children attending college. more than twice as much the households in the same wealth group with one child in college. Except the households in the bottom 25 percentile of the net worth distribution with two or more children attending college. 4. However. Households in the top 25 percentile of the wealth distribution with two or more children in college save on average $18. Households in all three wealth groups (bottom 25 percentile.077.3 also breaks down savings and college expenses by the number of children in college and net worth in 1983. 25-75 percentile and top 25 percentile) spend less per child as the number of children attending college increases. Savings of households with children in college increase with net worth. The data show that college expenses increase with net worth. the number of children in college is inversely related to the expenditure per child as predicted by the quantityquality model. Table 4. The data show that households continue to save while children are in college.10) . household savings increase with the number of children in college. household savings increase with the number of children in college. college expenditures per child decreases. As the number of children in college increases.

e. κ3 is a vector of parameters. i. 6 87 .where x1i and x2i are the vectors of exogenous variables.e. and κ1 and κ2 are the vectors of parameters to be estimated. is obtained to estimate the expected educational expenses. and φi is an age specific factor. the completed fertility. However. The model predicts that an increase in the number of children decreases the anticipated and actual educational expenditure.11) where x3i is a vector of demographic characteristics. 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. n. δ1 < 0.6 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. Another prediction of the model is that educational expenses increases household savings. The structural disturbances ui = (u1i . The expected completed family size is given by E[n] = exp(x3i κ3 + φi ) (4. the data on household fertility gives the number of children ever born to a household headed by a person of a certain age. η2 > 0. Therefore. u2i ) are assumed to be randomly drawn from a 2-variable distribution with E(ui ) = 0 and E(ui ui ) = . i. The theoretical model derives predictions concerning the effect of the completed lifetime fertility on the educational expenses. The empirical results hold true for this measure of fertility too.

I estimate a Tobit model for the educational expenditures of the households with children attending college. I obtain expected i i educational expenses as follows.4 are consistent with previous studies. First. 4. households headed by high school and college graduates have fewer children than those headed by persons without a high school degree. martial status (MARRIED). Then e∗ is observed to be ei if e∗ > 0 and gi = 1.5 Estimation and Results Table 4.4 contains estimates of the Poisson regression model of the fertility equation. Estimates of the coefficients in Table 4. and education of the spouse (HIGHSCHSP and COLLEGSP). gi = 0 indicate that none of the children are attending college. An increase in the permanent income increases the number of children. and a dummy indicating whether the household does not live in a SMSA area (NSMSA). permanent income (PERINC). Controlling for permanent income. Then I use the estimates of those parameters to construct the profile of anticipated educational expenses. gender (FEMALE). a dummy indicating whether the spouse works for a full time job in 1983 (FSPOUSE). However. Let gi = 1 indicate that the household has a child attending college.on financing her education. The right-hand variables include household demographics expected to affect the number of children: namely. 88 . age (AGE). Married households have more children. race (BLACK) and the education of the household head (HIGHSCH and COLLEG).

SEMERG. The right-hand variables also include other factors that might affect the college expenditures. households with spouses working full-time and with high school and college degrees have fewer children. 338 had a child attending college between 1983-86. The instrumental estimate of the coefficient on the number of children is almost three times as large as the OLS estimate (-$459 vs.5 reports estimates of the equation (4. the amount of college expenditure decreases with the number of children.controlling for marital status. 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 . age (AGE) and education (COLLEG) of the household head. SCHEDUC and SHOME).03. namely. Columns 1 and 2 contain the results with CHILD and columns 3 and 4 contain the results with CHILD. and permanent and transitory income (PERINC and TRINC). As predicted by the quantity-quality model. 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. and 252 reported contributing a positive amount to their children’s college expenses. Households with children attending college between 1983-86 are included in the estimation of the Tobit regression. Of the 1. Table 4.690 households in the sample. I use the estimates of the regression to predict the completed household fertility when the household head is 55 years old (CHILD). The average CHILD is 3.9). -$187).

789 per child.variables as follows: ˆ ˆ δ1 ∗ Φ((δ1 ni + x1i κ1 )/ˆ ).436. Households with heads who believe that it is all right to borrow for educational expenses have higher expenditures. I use estimates of the Tobit model and the expected completed fertility. ˆ σ (4. Table 4. Households citing saving for children’s education as the most important reason for saving spend more than other households. Households citing saving for retirement and buying a home as the most important reason for saving spend less on children’s education.5 show that increases in permanent and transitory income increase the level of expenditures for educational expenses. Φ is the standard normal cumuˆ ˆ lative distribution. ˆ Using the approximation. CHILD. and δ1 and κ1 are the estimates of δ1 and κ1 . to calculate the expected college expenditures (COLLEXP ).12) where σ is the estimate of the standard error. While the average contribution of households in the bottom 25 percentile of wealth distribution is $1. the average contribution of the top 25 percentile is $3.093 per child.6 show SAVE1 and SAVE2 for households with 90 . The amount of contribution to children’s college education increases with wealth.6 presents actual and estimated college expenses by household net worth in 1983. The average COLLEXP is $1. Estimated contributions of the households with children in college are very close to the actual expenses. Estimates in Table 4. The last two columns of Table 4. an additional child results in a drop of $317 in expected college expenditures at the mean of values. respectively.

a dummy indicating whether or not the household had a windfall greater than $3. permanent and transitory incomes (PERINC and TRINC). two other reasons for saving. Table 4.000 between 1893-86. the data in Table 4. households with greater wealth save more if they have a child attending college.7 presents the effect of expected college expenditures on household savings. nonurban residence (NSMSA) and dummies indicating household net worth in 1983 (NWORTH25 and NWORTH75). indicating that an increase in expected college expenditure raises 91 . However.3.6 show that wealthier families contribute more to their children’s education and continue to save while their children are in college. Explanatory variables include age (AGE). the coefficient of expected college expenditure (COLLEXP ) is negative and the coefficient of age interaction term (AGE×COLLEXP ) is positive. The estimates of SAVE1 and SAVE2 are very similar. Households in the bottom 25 percentile of wealth distribution save significantly less than those without children in college. and columns 3 and 4 contain the estimates for SAVE2. and the number of children attending college between 1983-86 (NCHCOLL).and without children in college. which are retirement and emergencies (SRETIRE and SEMERG). Interestingly. Similar to Table 4. Columns 1 and 2 contain the estimates for SAVE1. a dummy indicating whether the household head is willing to take risky investments (RISKY). gender (FEMALE) of the household head. In estimates of both equations. households in top 25 percentile of the wealth distribution save almost five times more if they have a child in college.

For each age group. households with heads who are willing to undertake risky investments save $7. 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. household savings are calculated in five year intervals. The effect of transitory income on both measures of savings is positive and significant.7. the data does not have detailed information on the years that children were attending college between 1983 and 1986.savings after age 28. the figure first calculates savings of a typical household expecting to contribute $2. showing that households save approximately 39 percent of their transitory income. Finally. This result does not necessarily mean that households are not saving for children’s college education.833 more than other households.398 less than those in the middle of the wealth distribution . saving for emergencies does not significantly affect savings. Figure 4.493 more and households in the top 25 percentile save $11. Permanent income increases both SAVE1 and SAVE2. However. Households citing saving for retirement as the most important reason save more. 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. had it not expected to contribute a positive amount. Also. citing a motive other than retirement or emergencies as the most 92 .1 shows the effect of the age of the household head on SAVE1. By typical. Finally.000 to college expenses and compares it to what it would have saved. Using the estimates in Table 4. households in the bottom 25 percentile of the wealth distribution save $2. Unfortunately.

The effect of expecting to contribute $2000 on household savings is $8. Saving motives change with age and household composition. If the household does not expect to contribute to children’s college expenses. 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. this will increase its saving by $4. The household is assumed to have average permanent and transitory incomes for their age group.000 at the age of 43. and it increases with the age of the household head. The results show that savings of the household with an anticipated $2. 4. The results in Table 4.6 Conclusion This chapter examines the effect of saving for children’s college edu- cation on household savings.894. This figure only shows that controlling for other factors.important saving motive. that this household starts saving for retirement when the household head is 43 years old. headed by a male. for example. I also obtain predictions 93 . the effect of anticipated college expenses on savings is positive and significant. who is not willing to undertake risky investments and did not receive a windfall greater than $3. savings decline to zero at the age of 43.000 college expenses increase with age. If we assume.894. This striking result is due to the assumption that this household is assumed not to cite saving for retirement as the most important reason.000 between 1983-86.7 show that the effect of saving for retirement on household saving is positive and raises household savings by $4.

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 main finding of this chapter is that households save in advance for children’s college expenditures. Other things constant. 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. and the change in net worth excluding the capital gains on primary residence.000 at the age of 43. By focusing on household savings. which are the change in net worth between 1983 and 1986. I analyze the effect of educational expenditures on two different measures of savings. 94 . Using the actual college expenditures reported in the 1983-86 Survey of Consumer Finances. which show that despite large college expenses. The model uses the expected expenditures and other control variables that affect savings to estimate an equation of savings. I estimate expected expenditures on children’s college education. The results are also consistent with the findings in Souleles [49].concerning the simultaneous determination of family size and college expenditure per child. the difference between savings of households with and without college expenses can be as high as $8. 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.

SEMERGE: saving for ‘rainy days.264 0.471 0.064 0.049 0.397 0.042 0.120 0.074 0.035 SOTHER 0.391 0.310 0.000 0.016 95 0. Tabulations are weighted using the sample weights.023 HH 0.053 0.381 0.337 0.068 0.010 0.079 0.063 0.060 0.341 0.383 0.032 25-75p 75 to 100p Source: Survey of Consumer Finances.000 0.455 0.543 0.004 0.339 0.023 0. The number of observations N=1690.042 0.049 0.009 0.013 0.029 0.469 0.153 CHILD 0 1-2 3 or more 0. Notes: This table reports the proportion of households citing the selected motives as the most important reason for saving. SOTHER: saving for other reasons and NOSAVE: cannot/does not save.033 0.082 0.057 0.330 0.058 0.000 0.057 0.087 0. SRETIRE: saving for retirement.401 0.037 NWORTH 0-25p 0 1-2 3 or more 0 1-2 3 or more 0 1-2 3 or more 0.027 0.007 0.027 0.102 0. .279 0.’ SCHEDU: saving for the education of children.043 0.070 0.Table 4.043 0.278 0.1: Saving Motives By the Number of Children SRETIRE 0.066 0.355 0.380 NOSAVE 0.341 0.083 0.377 0.016 0.244 0.021 0.115 0. 1983.009 0.223 0.345 SEMERG SCHEDU 0.382 0. SHOME: saving to buy a home.212 0.351 0.369 0.053 SHOME 0.404 0.002 0.440 0.

All variables are described in Appendix C.48 BEDUCAT 0.32 15127.14 COLLEXP> 0 2005.32 2817.64 NWORTH 81575.41 33402. Deviation CHILD 2.47 2.08 0.43 HIGHSCH 0.24 0.13 35397.28 RISKY 0.36 SAVE1 5806.45 Source: Survey of Consumer Finances.65 0.1.68 AGE 42. 96 .2: Descriptive Summary of Variables Variables Mean Std.86 0. All dollar values are reported in 1986 dollars.13 0.50 BLACK 0.28 0.53 0.75 TRINC 3296. The number of observations N=1690.17 0.35 WINDF 0.86 PERINC 25931. 1983-86.47 SAVE2 4811.33 MARRIED 0. Notes: Tabulations are weighted using sample weights.37 NSMSA 0.Table 4.11 12491.08 161860.24 0.10 FEMALE 0.43 COLLEG 0.43 14.

1983-86. All dollar values are reported in 1986 dollars.Table 4. The number of observations N=1690. Notes: NCHCOLL shows the number of children attending college between 1983-86. Tabulations are weighted using sample weights. 97 .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.

Error -1. 1983-86.134 ** 0.090 ** -0.057 ** -0.389 0.48 0. and * indicates significance at 10 percent level.408 0.022 0.097 ** 0.038 0.930 0.964 0.039 ** -0.461 0.435 0.032 0.43 -2971. Variables are described in Appendix C.106 0.145 ** 0. Notes: ** indicates significance at 5 percent level.004 ** -0.078 0.038 0.062 ** 1690 2.1.128 ** 0. 98 .Table 4.293 Source: Survey of Consumer Finances.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.717 0.126 ** -0.062 ** 1.

1 611.2 88.5 551.4 92. 99 .8 468.3 609. Notes: ** indicates significance at 5 percent level.5 18.0 0.4 1589.1 72.0 ** 2905.2 19.746 -2429.4 555.9 ** -187.3 2444.3 134.1 1063. 1983-86.6 1452.1 -4936.70 Source: Survey of Consumer Finances.Table 4.9 557.9 -45.7 338 .0 ** 72.8 473.8 -7.5 472.8 ** -1103. All variables are described in Appendix C.7 ** 1391.9 ** -4903. and * indicates significance at 10 percent level.8 -372.9 -458.0 409.1 550.4 10.5: Tobit Estimates of College Expenditure Equation Coefficient Std.1.7 1467.9 ** 67.6 408. Error Coefficient Std.5 22.5 -1335.7 * 997.8 232.81 CONSTANT AGE CHILD CHILD PERINC/1000 BEDUCAT SRETIRE SEMERG SCHEDUC SHOME COLLEG TRINC/1000 SIGMA N OBS Proportion of + observations Log L ** ** * ** ** * ** ** -2429.4 23.6 133.6 -1124.6 -407. Error -601.0 9.2 2524.9 2912.

29 1436 44. All dollar values are reported in 1986 dollars. CHCOLL=1 if the household has a child attending college between 1983-86 (0 otherwise).Table 4. Notes: Tabulations are weighted using sample weights. The number of observations N=1690.52 0 5.93 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.65 0 1.6: 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. 100 .02 0 7. 1983-86.59 2334 17.

8 2783.0 1642.3 2954. .0 1271.5 0. 1983-86.8 3349.0 5607.0 2460.6 1516.8 3199.2 ** -1284.2 -10.1 3139.107 SAVE2 Coefficient Std.5 1325.2 3.9 2474.8 163.1 2796.2 1820. and * indicates significance at 10 percent level.3 -774.9 1728.6 2026.3 0.8 382. Error 22618.8 -615.2 3422.0 7833.5 .8 761.1 * 4679.1 4894.1. Error ** 22327.4 2538.8 .4 ** 336.0 -11398.8 ** 6820.7: 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.5 -1310.0 -790.8 4. a Predicted value of the variable from Tobit regression of educational expenditures.3 0.3 2016.5 2493. All variables are described in Appendix C.4 2434.5 2409.3 10.9 11080.7 ** 0.Table 4. Notes: ** indicates significance at 5 percent level.6 ** -9329.6 -315.2 3.3 ** 309.084 Source: Survey of Consumer Finances.2 5041.6 388.2 ** -9.6 10944.6 407.9 139.3 416.8 160.8 140.3 ** 10.0 382.3 * 3028.1 4.

• savings of a household with no college expenses. 736 − • • • | 23 −1. 102 .Figure 4.1: The Importance of Educational Expenses on Savings SAVE16 10. 045 − • 3. 791 − ? savings of a household with $2000 college expenses. 068 − | 28 | 33 | 38 | 43 • | 48 | 53 Age • • −5.

Appendices 103 .

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

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

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

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

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). and the probability of nonzero earnings is computed for each spouse from the probit estimates. ˆ where Yi is the permanent income estimate. 108 .

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

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

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

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

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

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