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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5 Descriptive Statistics by Year . . . . . . .1 3. . . . . . . . . .5 2.5 3. . . . . . . . . . . .1 2. . . . . .8 2. . Children in . . . . . . . . . The Effect of a Change in the Fertility Decision on SAVE1 . . . . .4 2. . . . . . . 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 95 96 97 98 99 . . . . . 1998: Continued .3 2. . . . . . . Mean Income Uncertainty by Household Demographics . Saving Motives By the Number of Children . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Renters: Continued . . . . . . . . . . . . . Descriptive Statistics by Household Fertility Decision . . . . . . . . . . . . . Results from Probit Estimation . . . . . . . . . . . .6 3. . . .4 4. . 1983 . . . . . Poisson Regression: Number of Children . . . . . . . . Savings. . . . . Portfolio Shares for Assets by the Number of Children and Age Saving Motives by Age Groups. .2 2.8 4. .3 4. . . . . . . . . . . Regressions of SAVE2 on Income Uncertainty with Endogenous Fertility Decision . Mean Asset Shares by Year .2 4. . . . . . .List of Tables 2. . . . . Descriptive Summary of Variables . . . . . Mean Asset Shares. . 1998 . . . . . .1 4.10 2. .6 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Savings and College Expenses by the Number of College . . . Results: Asset Shares and Housing Expenditure of Homeowners Homeowners: Continued . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Income and Income Uncertainty by Age and Fertility Probit: Fertility Decision of Fecund Households . . . . Regressions of SAVE1 on Income Uncertainty with Endogenous Fertility Decision . . . Results: Asset Shares and Housing Expenditure of Renters . .2 3.7 3. Tobit Estimates of College Expenditure Equation ix . . . .9 2.3 3. . . . . . .4 3. . . Mean Asset Shares. . . . . . . . . . . Expenditure on Housing. . . . . . .7 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1998 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 3. .

. . . . . . . . .7 College Expenditures and Savings by the Number of Children in College . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 4.4. 100 101 x . . . . . . . . . Effect of Anticipated College Expenses on Savings . . . . . .

List of Figures

4.1

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

102

xi

Chapter 1 Introduction

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

1

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

household saving show that saving rates are higher for married couples with no children and lower for those with children. are not consistent with the predictions of the precautionary saving model that suggests agents faced with uncertainty about future income increase their savings. Using a life cycle model that incorporates precautionary motives for saving. 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. having an additional child decreases savings of households with young heads and increases savings of those with older heads. this chapter extends the empirical work on precautionary saving. The findings. Chapter 3 investigates the relation between household saving and fertility decisions. Income uncertainty actually reduces savings of the households with low or very high wealth holdings and does not affect the saving behavior of other households.cost of homeownership. The 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.S. however. The data on U. This finding is consistent with the life-cycle theory of saving and consumption and shows that household composition is an important factor 3 . Also. By examining the implications of uncertainty on the fertility decisions of households and incorporating fertility decisions as a motive for household saving behavior. 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.

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

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 .

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

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

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

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

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

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

Following Brueckner [7] and 12 . 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. Section 2. The number of children also increases the housing demand of homeowners. The remainder of this chapter is organized as follows. and how much to allocate to other risky assets. The consumer maximizes a multiperiod utility function. Renters invest a smaller share of their portfolio in interest-bearing accounts with an increase in the number of children.4.5. Section 2. As a result of the portfolio constraint imposed by the housing demand of children.2. Children living in the household also affects the portfolio choice of renters. The estimation results are reported in Section 2. Controlling for the number of children and other variables.2 introduces the theoretical model and discusses the empirical specification of the model. homeowners decrease the portfolio share in retirement accounts while they increase the portfolio share in housing.2 2. A summary of the findings and concluding remarks are presented in Section 2.on the probability of owning a home. 2.1 The Model Theory This section examines the behavior of a consumer deciding whether to rent or own a home. 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.3 describes the data set and the variables used in the empirical work.

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

then the first period budget constraint is given by J c = w − po hc − r j=0 aj . 14 . The total return of the J portfolio is given by R= j=0 rj aj .7) where θhh and θjj .3) If the consumer rents a house. h The total return of the portfolio is given by J R = rh h + j=0 rj aj . θjk is the covariance of returns between asset j and k. 2. h = 0 in equations (2. (2. .5) since h is equal to zero for renters.. In the model. For renters. 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 (2.7).6) and (2.. are the variances of rh and rk . J.4) where po r is the price of a unit of housing for renters. (2. respectively.. j = 1. .where w is her initial wealth and po is the current price of a unit of housing.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 .. j = 1. the return on housing and the return on other assets are assumed to be normal variables with the expected values rh and rj . (2.J. (2. For homeowners. and θjh is the covariance of returns between asset j and housing.

. 2. j = 0.) is the standard normal density function. The consumer also decides on c∗ . 1.8) subject to (2.. and a∗ . The consumer’s problem is to choose c∗ . .Following Fama and Miller [21] and Brueckner [7]. a household determines whether to own or rent a house: H = 1 if Xh β1 + ε1 > 0 = 0 otherwise. (2. and the standard normal variable z as follows: U (c. that maximize (2.8) where φ(. this problem can be solved in two stages..9) where Xh is a vector of year dummies and characteristics that are associated 15 .3). how much to spend on housing (Eh ). In the first stage.6) and (2. 1.5). J. 1. j = 0. .. J. In the second stage. the asset levels aj . (2. (2. hc (and thus σ) is chosen optimally. First. The empirical model described in the next section focuses on the interaction between these two stages of decision making.. c j (2. I rewrite the objective function (2. h∗ . (2. . J. are chosen optimally with hc and σ held constant. σ.6) and (2.1) subject to (2. h∗ and a∗ .. j = c j 0.7) and decides to own or rent a house comparing the utilities in two outcomes.1) in terms of R. and shares of wealth to allocate to each asset j (sj ).2.2). that maximize (2. hc ) + δ V (R + σz + y)φ(z)dz. For both homeowners and renters. (2. and to owner-occupied housing (sh ) is modeled as follows.7)..2 Empirical Model The joint determination of whether own a house (H=1) or not (H=0).4).

11) where X and Xc are vectors of household characteristics and year dummies. 1..(2.  j = 0. a probit model of the tenure choice in equation (2. βh .. In the second stage.. j = 0. J. 1. the household decides on the share of portfolio allocated to each asset and housing. as a regressor in estimating (2.. In the first stage. and also the housing expenditure:  j = 0. εoc .. J  sj = Xβoj + εoj sh = Xβh + εh If owner. . J  sj = Xβrj + εrj sh = 0 If renter. 1.10) (2. εh .9) provides an estimate of β1 .11). J. .with the probability of owning a house.. βrj . and εoj ... j = 0. and ε1 is an error term. φ(X β1 )/(1 − Φ(X β1 )) is used as a regressor for renters in estimating (2.9) . εrj . and the error terms in equations (2.11) are assumed to have a joint normal distribution. βoj . . (2. 16 . Similarly.  log Eh = Xc βoc + εoc .10) for homeowners. The two stage method described in Lee and Trost [42] is used to estimate the model. β1 is a parameter vector.. 1..  log Eh = Xc βrc + εrc . I use ˆ ˆ φ(X β1 )/Φ(X β1 ). Second.. Separate equations are specified for homeowners and renters. .. βoc and βrc are the parameter vectors to be estimated. where φ and Φ are probability density and cumulative distribution of the standard ˆ ˆ normal distribution. respectively. and εrc are the error terms.

For owners. 3) RETIRE includes IRAs. cash value of life insurance. 3 17 . The survey contains detailed information on household portfolios.409 out of 4. population and a supplement of high-wealth households drawn from Internal Revenue Service file of high-income returns.480 out of 3. population. 1995 and 1998 SCF. the supplement consists of 866 out of 3. 1992.299. and mutual funds. 1.519 out of 4. income. 5) VEHICLE is the value of all the vehicles the household owns. and in 1998. certificates of deposit. The consumption demand for housing is computed for renters and homeowners as follows.3 Data The data for this study are taken from the 1989. 6) RESTATE includes the market value of seasonal residences and other property. and other assets like arts and precious metals. Investments in businesses are not included in total assets because they generate an income that is difficult to separate from earnings.S.906.2. Keogh. and 7) OTHER includes trusts. money market deposit accounts. saving accounts. 1. a triennial survey conducted by the Federal Reserve Board. in 1995. all types of bonds. 4) HOUSE is the market value of owner-occupied housing. call accounts.3 Total assets are grouped into six categories: 1) ACCOUNT includes all holdings of checking accounts. Each survey consists of a representative sample of the U. and other defined contribution plans. and demographic characteristics. The SCF constructs sample weights to blend the supplements with the area-probability sample to get a more representative sample of the U. 2) STOCK includes all assets held in stocks.143 households.S. the cost of housing services depends on In the 1989 SCF.309 households. in 1992. 1. 401(k)s.

(2. Property tax rates and mortgage interest payments are reported in the SCF. I assume an annual rate of depreciation of d=0.1. The housing expenditures (Eh ) of homeowners are then defined as Eh = [(1 − τ )r + d + (1 − τ )τp − (ρ − π)]G − mτ. the income tax rate (τ ). the mortgage interest payment (m). To calculate the housing expenditure by using equation (2. A few restrictions are imposed on the sample. the property tax rate (τp ). The calculation of marginal tax rates is described in Appendix A. r.12) This formulation assumes that homeowners claim tax deductions for property taxes and mortgage interest payments. the annual rental expenditure reported in the SCF is used as the consumption demand for housing. For renters. π. is the rate of increase in the median sale price of houses in that year. The inflation rate.the gross value of the residence (G). the interest rate (r). is assumed to be the interest rate on treasury bills. Following Henderson and Ioannides [28].12). and the rate of increase in house prices. First. ρ. I impute them using detailed account information on the sources of income and demographics for each household. The interest rate. maintenance and depreciation costs (d). is the annual inflation rate calculated using the CPI-U deflator.015 for each of the sample years. households that neither rent nor own their homes are excluded for lack of information to cal18 . I make several assumptions. Since marginal tax rates are not reported in the SCF. the rate of increase in the nominal price of housing (ρ) and the overall inflation rate (π).

to avoid the influence of extreme outliers on the regression. 183.4 Second. 1992. respectively. I take the estimated earnings of the household head and the spouse at the age of 45 and an individual-specific effect. The variables are described in detail in Appendix A. Therefore.1 percent weighted wealth holdings in each wave of the SCF are dropped. 6 The SCF defines the head of the household to be the husband for all married households. 116. and 1998 SCF.3.culate housing expenditure. 1992.509. 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. both mean and median wealth (ASSET) have risen since 1992. 4 19 .5 The final sample consists of 13.807 households in 1989. respectively. households with the highest 0. 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. As a proxy for permanent income.900. 317 and 309 households were neither renters nor owners and were dropped from the sample. (ii) it owns both the mobile house and the site. respectively. 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. 214. households with female heads are headed by single females. In 1989.773 and 3. 2. 209 and 193 were in the 0.1 percentile of the weighted wealth distribution in the 1989. 3. 127. 3.989 observations. 1992. Table 2. The calculation of permanent income follows King and Dicks-Mireaux [40] and is described in Appendix A. or (iii) it owns part or all of the farm/ranch on which it lives on.1 shows the summary statistics for all the variables used in the estimation. 1995 and 1998. 5 Of the remaining households. a co-op or a townhouse association. The same pattern is true for permanent income (INCOME). 1995 and 1998. 1995. Sample demographics show the age of the household head (AGE).2.6 However.

3 presents housing expenditures of homeowners and renters in 1998.was higher for homeowners in 1992 than in other years due to the decline in house prices in that year.3 percent in 1989 to 11. The first column shows the share of households in different income. Table 2.2 percent in 1998 due to an increase in the portfolio share for saving accounts. The average number of children (NCHILD) living in the household declined from 0.2 presents interesting changes in household portfolio structures over time. age. This suggests that households have substituted financial assets for nonfinancial assets.5 percent in 1998. the composition of households’ portfolios reveals the importance of housing as an asset.2.2 percent in 1995. STOCK and RETIRE in 1998 offset the decline in HOUSE. wealth and children (the number of children living in the household) groups. Assets in these accounts increased from 5.75 in 1995 and stayed the same in 1998. Second. there is a steady growth in the portfolio share for STOCK and a steady decline in the portfolio share for RESTATE since 1989.7 percent of total assets in 1989 to 10. representing 39. followed by ACCOUNT.83 in 1989 to 0. As shown in Table 2. HOUSE is the most important asset.4 percent of total assets in 1998. The percentage of households with all children older than age 13 (CHAGE13) has stayed the same since 1992. The portfolio share for ACCOUNT declined from 14. 20 . The increases in ACCOUNT.6 percent in 1998). the share for RETIRE increases sharply. Table 2. First. VEHICLE and RESTATE. The second largest asset in the households’ portfolios is VEHICLE (18. but it rose to 13.

For renters. respectively. accounting for 57. for renters. it declines after age 50.4 and 2. and the number of children. there are marked differences in household portfolios of renters and owners.000 and income below $50.042 for homeowners and $6. Average housing expenditures for homeowners and renters are presented. The housing expenditures of renters and homeowners also increase with income. wealth and the age of the household head. however.000. The first row of Table 2.9 percent. age of the household head. 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. renters spend more on housing than owners. in the remaining two columns of the table.0 percent). VEHICLE is the most important asset held (41. For homeowners. Tables 2. VEHICLE is the third largest asset (7.4 shows the portfolio shares of assets that homeowners and renters hold. wealth. wealth and the number of children in the household. For homeowners. the expenditure on housing declines after the age of 65. The percentage of households who are homeowners increases with income.8 percent of total assets) following 21 . Among households with wealth below $250.The second column indicates the percentage of each of these groups that are homeowners.5 percent of total assets) followed by ACCOUNT (26. It also increases with the number of children.5 show the household portfolio composition in 1998 by household permanent income. First. Since the primary residence is the largest part of homeowners’ wealth. reaching a peak among households with two children. The average housing expenditure is $7.030 for renters.

Another noteworthy finding is that the portfolio shares for STOCK and RETIRE for both homeowners and renters rise with income. This suggests that households with heads over age 65 substitute 22 .000. 42. The portfolio shares for other assets such as STOCK. First. Also. the portfolio share for ACCOUNT almost doubles both for homeowners and renters over the age of 65 compared to 50-64 year old group.4 also presents the life cycle patterns in household portfolios. among homeowners that have wealth exceeding $1 million.3 and 2. the share of the portfolio allocated to RESTATE and for all households.000. Several findings are worth noting. but they hold only 42. Of the households with income above $100. as shown in Tables 2. the fraction of households who are homeowners increases. the share of the portfolio allocated to STOCK rise at a rapid rate with wealth. Not surprisingly.6 percent.RETIRE (10. Table 2. in contrast. accumulation in STOCK relative to other assets increases over age 65. For example. STOCK is the most important asset category with a share equal to 25.6 percent of total assets in housing. For example. For higher levels of income. of the households with income below $15.9 percent of their total assets in housing. while the housing share of portfolio declines.7 percent are homeowners holding 75.4.2 percent). portfolio composition of households with heads over the age of 65 differs considerably from other age groups’ portfolios. we observe striking differences in the composition of portfolios by the level of wealth.2 percent of total assets while housing accounted for only 22. Also. 86. RETIRE and RESTATE are almost equal for renters and owners.7 percent are homeowners. For homeowners.

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

OTHER. and include ACCOUNT. Of 13.7 I exclude those households from the sample and correct for sample selection. 100 in 1995.the probability that a household owns a home. HOUSE. Dummy variables indicating the number and the age of children living in the household are included in X. Portfolio shares of the J + 1 assets and housing sum to one. Then I solve for the parameters of OTHER from the other equations. The empirical model below investigates the effect of children on both asset shares and homeownership decision. and 106 in 1998 had zero wealth holding. Thus. 24 . VEHICLE. Age and age-squared of the household head are included to capture a possible change in portfolio behavior related to the life cycle. permanent income and wealth in determining the asset shares in household portfolios. 410 report zero wealth holding. 2. The other variables in X are chosen to be consistent with previous empirical studies. 111 in 1992. STOCK. RETIRE. Moreover. the marital 7 93 households in 1989. and the disturbance covariance matrix is singular. I drop one group of assets. Portfolio choice theory has shown the importance of age. Previous research also indicates that a household’s marginal tax rate (MRT) has an effect on its asset allocation decisions. and RESTATE in the estimation of the model.898 households.4 Estimation and Results The resulting set of equations constitutes an endogenous switching model in the form of a multivariate regression model.

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

9 and 2. Tables 2. and a lower share for VEHICLE. The portfolio share for RETIRE increases with age until the age of 58.10 present the estimates of the equations (2.7-2.to HOUSE and VEHICLE.11) for renters. Compared to 1989. For these assets. The effect of children is less pronounced for renters than for homeowners.10 report coefficients of the selectivity variables. An increase in total assets leads to an increase in the share for STOCK. for example. the 1998 portfolio share for RETIRE is 5. while the portfolio share for ACCOUNT and STOCK decreases until the age 40 and 43. RETIRE and RESTATE. It leads to a decrease in the share allocated to ACCOUNT. Selfselection occurred in households’ tenure choice. RESTATE and OTHER and a decrease in the share for ACCOUNT and VEHICLE. RETIRE and HOUSE for homeowners are all statistically significant. should they choose to buy homes. and the share for VEHICLE is significantly higher for households with three or more children. the share for ACCOUNT decreases. STOCK. Tables 2. homeownership would not have the same effect on renters. The coefficients on the selection terms in equations for ACCOUNT. 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. respectively.0 percent higher in renters’ portfolio. Since 1995. RESTATE and OTHER. More permanent income is associated with a higher share for ACCOUNT. renters have shifted toward RETIRE in their portfolio. The estimates of the Mills ratios for renters are significantly different from zero 28 . As renters have two or more children.

10 present the estimates of the housing expenditure equation. After the second child. For both renters and owners. The housing expenditure of homeowners increases 8. Table 2. I mean a household headed by a white married. By a typical household. On the other hand.8 and 2. For homeowners. having more children increases the housing expenditures of homeowners by only 3. This implies that other than in regards to these three assets. 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. but the number of children has no effect on renters’ expenditure. RETIRE.9 percent higher housing expenditure than homeowners with no 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.3 percent with the second child. all of the children in the household are younger 29 . Homeowners with one child have 11.for ACCOUNT.2 percent.11 presents the estimates of shares for assets that a typical homeowner holds. 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. there were no significant differences in the average behavior of the two groups prior to home purchase. the expenditure on housing increases with the number of children. The last two columns in Tables 2. The age of the children in the household has no effect on the housing expenditure of renters nor homeowners. and RESTATE.

690) and has a 15 percent marginal tax rate.than age 13. VEHICLE is the second most important asset in the portfolio when the household head is 30 years old.5 Conclusion Using the 1989. As the household head reaches middle age. and its importance in the portfolio increase with the number of children living in the household. this chapter investigates how the number and the age of children living in the household influence the portfolio composition of households. The household head is willing to take risky investments and holds mean wealth ($188. 1992. conditional on the tenure choice. The number of children has a negative effect on the portfolio share for RETIRE. an increase in the number of children increases the probability that a household owns a home. Using a 30 . As mentioned above. 2. HOUSE is the most important asset. 1995 and 1998 SCF. 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. and the share allocated to RETIRE becomes the second largest in the portfolio. The chapter examines the impact of children on the homeownership decision and the constraint of consumption demand for owner-occupied housing. Second. The portfolio shares of assets calculated in Table 2. First. more is invested in RETIRE.11 include both of these effects. At all ages. children have two effects on the portfolio structure of households.160) and permanent income ($46. children change the demand for each asset.

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

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

319 50.8 0.59 0.2. 2) All dollar values are reported in 1998 dollars.97 48.65 0.14 0.660 12.5 0. The text defines total assets.328 206.59 0.75 0.054 49.829 116.985 6.65 0.509 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 47.28 0.154 0.80 0.83 0.58 0.164 0.12 0.151 203. 33 .75 0.28 0.684 92.9 0.28 0.900 0.968 46.191 92.50 3.158 0.Table 2.51 2.12 0.66 0. Notes: 1) Tabulations are weighted using sample weights. permanent income and net worth.773 0.55 3.807 0.97 48.97 Source: Survey of Consumer Finances.97 48.131 5. 1989-1998. All variables are defined in Appendix A.61 3.658 222.750 0.815 258.664 6.525 101.59 0.27 0.695 47.64 0.3 0.11 0.

415 0.208 0.394 0.143 0.043 0.067 0. VEHICLE. RETIRE.196 0. RESTATE.043 0. 34 . 1989-1998.186 0.076 0.057 0.047 0. Notes: 1) Tabulations are weighted using sample weights.132 0. 2) The text defines the assets called ACCOUNT.Table 2.076 0.094 0.059 0. and OTHER.130 0. STOCK.053 0.2: Mean Asset Shares by Year 1989 Portfolio Shares ACCOUNT STOCK RETIRE HOUSE VEHICLE RESTATE OTHER 1992 1995 1998 0.105 0.050 0.068 0. HOUSE.410 0.112 0.072 Source: Survey of Consumer Finances.072 0.197 0.432 0.059 0.

546 80.489 32.263 5.042 6.35 42.973 6.486 95.17 15.3: Expenditure on Housing.69 4.90 12. 35 .741 7.391 Source: Survey of Consumer Finances.89 6.49 36.400 5.030 Income Below $15K 10.12 80.183 7.54 5.46 14.93 1. HO represents homeowners and RR represents renters.72 78.77 67. 2) HH represents all households.16 12.078 7.438 8.69 3.748 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 22.28 9.024 6.931 6.Table 2.081 $30-50K 29.22 7.496 6. 1998.03 21.72 3.72 14.764 6.378 $50-100K 29.24 86.29 68.90 19.293 $15-30K 22.50 51.587 95.04 5.883 Above $100K 8.195 5.843 9.29 4.09 64.79 64.847 15.081 6.456 11.40 34.677 6.065 7.78 7.08 22.002 6.976 7.475 5. Notes: 1) Tabulations are weighted using sample weights.26 21.38 29.555 93.564 5. 1998 Eh 1998 dollars %HH %HO HO RR All households 100 66.42 78.866 4.22 64.43 9.46 72.55 6.645 61.803 8.

181 0.054 $100K-250K 0.007 0.071 0 0.032 0.002 0.091 0.025 0.445 0.212 0.260 0.183 0.071 0.436 RESTATE HO RR 0.112 0.046 0.192 0.149 0.122 0.485 0.413 0.694 0.157 0.295 0.205 0.021 0 0.064 0.251 0.489 0.091 0.062 0.281 0.075 continued on the next page.065 0.238 0.056 0.074 0.359 0.221 0.165 0.049 0.033 0.040 35-49 0.062 Above 65 0.147 0.047 0.014 0 0.101 0.137 0.022 0.4: Mean Asset Shares.287 0.087 0.143 0.162 0.090 $30-50K 0.122 0.097 0.088 0.028 0. 1998 ACCOUNT STOCK RETIRE HOUSE VEHICLE HO RR HO RR HO RR HO RR HO RR 0.129 Wealth Below $50K 0.047 0.190 0.017 0.201 0.454 0.022 0.082 Above 1000K 0.075 Age Under 35 0.089 0.730 0.535 0.608 0.151 0. .051 0.068 0.049 0.054 0.401 0.039 0 0.293 0.111 0 0.587 0.059 0.050 0 0.010 0.158 0.112 0.135 0.490 0.559 0.162 0.093 $15-30K 0.048 50-64 0.066 $50-100K 0.049 0.055 0.199 0.090 0.004 0.019 0.213 0.064 0.541 0.759 0.078 0.111 0.166 0.052 0 0.080 0.107 0.078 0.453 0.374 0.061 0.040 0.172 0.019 0.069 0.042 $50K-100K 0.132 0.043 0 0.270 0.080 0.041 0.047 0.750 0.Table 2.089 0.109 36 All households Income Below $15K 0.077 0.083 0.127 0.415 0.055 0.061 0.252 0.389 0.020 0.086 0.091 0.579 0 0.062 Above $100K 0.645 0.256 0.630 0.046 0 0 0 0 0 0.226 0.018 0.234 0.011 0.073 $250-1000K 0.135 0.092 0.068 0 0.128 0.149 0.047 0.086 0.083 0.072 0.031 0.027 0.056 0.015 0.102 0.028 0.

049 0.044 0. .026 0.055 0. VEHICLE.653 0 0 0 0 0.110 0.038 0.Table 2.117 0.061 0.5: Mean Asset Shares.040 0. 3) HO represents homeowners and RR represents renters.052 0. 2) All dollar values are reported in 1998 dollars. RETIRE.032 0. 1998: Continued ACCOUNT STOCK RETIRE HOUSE VEHICLE HO RR HO RR HO RR HO RR HO RR RESTATE HO RR 0.471 0. The text defines the assets called ACCOUNT.085 0.048 0.495 0.070 0.195 0.288 0.045 0.609 0. and RESTATE.098 0.062 0.222 0.122 0.200 0.044 0.115 0.038 0.373 0.512 Children CHILD0 CHILD1 CHILD2 CHILD3 37 Source: Survey of Consumer Finances.044 0.577 0.019 0.074 0.087 0.098 0. Notes: 1) Tabulations are weighted using sample weights.087 0.560 0.040 0. HOUSE.089 0.102 0.069 0. 1998.088 0. STOCK.

052 ** 0. 38 .044 ** 0.004 ** 0.2.118 0.193 0.210 0.747 0.341 0.304 0. The number of observations N=13.102 -0.047 ** 0.029 -0.Table 2. 2) Variables are defined in Appendix A.404 0.030 0.050 CONSTANT AGE AGE2 /100 MARRIED FEMALE CHILD1 CHILD2 CHILD3 CHAGE13 INCOME/10.049 ** 0.000 0.053 0.007 0.040 ** -0.040 -0.174 0.046 0.085 0.153 ** 0.005 ** 0.005 ** 0.6: Results from Probit Estimation HOMEOWN Coefficient Standard Errors Marginal Effects -4.108 0.042 ** 0.034 ** 0.261 0.096 0.080 0.063 0.052 0.014 -0.072 0.287 0.030 ** 0.000 MTR RISKY WHITE YEAR92 YEAR95 YEAR98 Notes: 1) ** indicates significance at 1 percent level.137 ** 0.137 0. and * indicates significance at 5 percent level.041 * -0.010 2.143 0.579.

004 0.004 0.004 0.003 0.089 0.006 -0.054 ** AGE -0.003 0.001 * MTR -0.021 0.007 -0.032 0.021 0.069 -0.002 0.002 -0.008 0.033 0.000 0.005 0.001 0.031 0.009 0.021 0.006 0.006 0.010 0.004 0.005 -0.001 -0.005 CHILD1 -0.010 0.027 0.004 0.016 0.020 0.001 -0.009 0.006 0.010 ** * ** continued on the next page.007 0.002 -0.398 0.003 0.013 0.021 0.029 0.024 0.001 0.004 0.006 ** FEMALE 0.004 ** MR:home -0.001 0.009 0.063 0.008 0.007 0.020 0.007 0.059 0.008 -0.077 0.006 -0.009 0.432 0.008 0.008 0.054 RETIRE Coef SE -0.009 0.112 0.005 0.002 0.455 0.003 0.003 ** YEAR98 -0.000 0.7: Results: Asset Shares and Housing Expenditure of Homeowners ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** 39 ** ** ** ** * * ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** * ** ** ** * ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** * ** ACCOUNT Coef SE CONSTANT 0.002 ** L ASSET 0.002 0.049 HOUSE Coef SE 1.023 0.001 0.010 0.003 ** YEAR95 -0.007 -0.006 ** CHILD3 -0.007 -0.007 ** CHAGE13 -0.007 0.024 0.011 -0.001 0.087 0.001 ** MARRIED -0.063 0.198 0.061 0.027 0.013 0.019 0.026 0.012 0.005 0.003 -0.003 ** YEAR92 -0.003 -0.018 ** RISKY -0.002 0.003 -0.011 0.020 -0.001 ** AGE2 /100 0.024 0.006 L INCOME -0.021 0.029 0.007 0.039 VEHICLE Coef SE 0.016 0.005 0.515 0.190 0.013 0.007 0.037 0. .001 0.063 0.Table 2.012 0.006 0.008 0.006 -0.056 0.062 0.004 -0.001 0.005 0.002 -0.307 0.049 0.010 0.006 * CHILD2 -0.027 0.003 -0.018 ** MR:+ wealth -0.006 0.008 0.005 0.022 0.002 0.125 0.007 -0.001 -0.092 0.007 -0.002 -0.001 0.013 0.056 0.006 -0.026 0.003 0.031 * STOCK Coef SE -0.006 0.003 -0.010 0.023 0.020 -0.005 -0.002 0.005 0.004 0.003 0.008 0.115 0.003 -0.023 0.067 0.006 -0.004 0.009 -0.006 0.

007 * L INCOME -0.017 0.025 MR: + wealth 0.584 0.004 0.116 0.003 -0.015 -0.023 0.025 0.004 -0.004 0.018 0.036 0.158 0.004 -0.053 OTHER Coef SE -0.025 0.006 -0.002 0.2.119 0.000 0.052 0. The number of observations N=10.068 0.015 0.025 -0.202 0.002 0.204 0.032 0.005 ** MR:home -0.018 0.025 0.010 0.246 0. 2) The text defines the assets called ACCOUNT.024 0.004 0.006 0.094 0.005 * YEAR95 0.004 0.019 0.008 0.017 0.004 0.010 0.005 -0.043 0. MR represents Mills Ratio.014 0.003 0.120 ** ** ** ** ** RESTATE Coef SE CONSTANT -0. RETIRE.024 0.008 ** CHILD3 -0.012 0.189 0. VEHICLE.8: Homeowners: Continued ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** 40 log Eh Coef SE * -0.049 -0.568 0.018 -0.234 0.009 ** CHILD1 -0.023 0.003 0.080 ** AGE 0.004 -0.002 ** MTR -0.Table 2.005 -0.021 0.005 YEAR98 -0.002.002 0.002 0.015 0.393 -0.004 0.010 0.009 FEMALE -0.017 0.008 0.002 ** 2 AGE /100 -0.008 0.066 0.177 0. HOUSE.001 0.011 ** 0.002 -0.503 0.004 -0.181 0.307 0.036 Notes: 1) ** indicates significance at 1 percent level. RESTATE. and OTHER.025 ** RISKY -0.007 ** * * 1.001 0.005 -0.005 YEAR92 0.001 ** MARRIED -0.001 0.001 -0.008 CHAGE13 0.007 0. . STOCK. All variables are defined in Appendix A.001 0.001 0.003 ** L ASSET 0.008 CHILD2 -0.220 0. and * indicates significance at 5 percent level.

079 * RISKY 0.026 -0.029 0.034 0.020 -0.027 0.007 0. .019 0.086 0.019 0.013 0.002 ** -0.028 0.204 0.381 0.008 -0.011 0.015 0.109 0.030 0.039 STOCK Coef SE -0.017 0.014 0.022 0.002 ** 0.004 -0.035 0.010 0.004 0.173 AGE -0.008 0.089 0.010 0.015 0.064 ** 0.079 0.000 0.027 0.039 0.003 ** AGE2 /100 0.014 MR:home -0.026 0.011 ** 0.061 0.050 0.002 0.014 0.080 0.003 0.048 -0.029 0.059 0.013 0.038 0.004 0.014 YEAR95 -0.021 0.015 -0.003 0.019 0.006 0.009 0.014 0.001 0.070 0.052 0.004 ** MTR 0.072 0.019 0.001 0.001 0.068 0.017 0.010 0.010 0.019 0.032 0.038 * MR:+ wealth 0.018 0.059 0.006 -0.285 0.001 0.097 -0.011 -0.015 0.019 ** CHILD3 -0.014 ** 0.037 RETIRE Coef SE ** -0.014 0.012 YEAR92 -0.012 0.015 0.018 0.793 0.005 0.077 0.001 0.019 -0.025 0.243 0.130 0.003 0.319 0.243 -0.015 -0.021 ** CHAGE13 -0.014 ** L ASSET -0.026 -0.013 * CHILD1 -0.016 0.005 0.054 0.007 0.012 0.021 ** FEMALE 0.005 0.120 0.001 -0.020 0.103 -0.074 0.014 0.023 0.Table 2.031 0.017 0.008 0.007 0.024 0.000 0.053 ** continued on the next page.002 0.008 -0.023 0.154 ** 0.011 0.017 CHILD2 -0.033 0.035 VEHICLE Coef SE 2.015 * YEAR98 0.022 L INCOME 0.9: Results: Asset Shares and Housing Expenditure of Renters ** ** ** ** ** ** ** * ** ** ** ** ** ** * ** ** ** 41 ACCOUNT Coef SE CONSTANT 0.002 ** MARRIED -0.051 0.033 0.

069 0.044 0.014 0.004 0.018 0.007 0.012 0.033 -0.010 L INCOME 0.061 0.011 -0.038 0.010 0. 2) The text defines the assets called ACCOUNT.014 -0.001 0.005 ** -0. All variables are defined in Appendix A.110 0.012 0.001 0.014 -0.020 0.083 0.027 0.062 0.014 -0.577.125 -0.064 0.030 0.014 CHAGE13 -0.035 0.102 0.037 0.004 -0.021 0.017 0.008 RISKY 0.032 0.002 2 AGE /100 -0. VEHICLE.003 -0.Table 2.001 0.073 * ** ** ** OTHER Coef SE 0. STOCK.365 -0.030 0. RESTATE.004 0.054 MTR -0.118 0.067 0.580 0.173 0.011 0.130 * AGE 0.003 ** L ASSET -0.017 0.001 0.022 0.011 CHILD2 -0. MR represents Mills Ratio.038 ** Notes: 1) ** indicates significance at 1 percent level and * indicates significance at 5 percent level.002 * MARRIED 0.017 0. .003 -0.015 FEMALE -0.2.315 0.010 CHILD1 0.045 0.020 -0.038 0.009 YEAR92 -0.285 -0.009 * YEAR95 -0. HOUSE.014 0.012 CHILD3 -0.109 0.024 MR: home 0.334 0.004 0.014 -0.029 0.033 ** MR: + wealth -0.020 0.005 0.001 0.002 0.030 0.036 0.014 0.038 0.189 0.010 * YEAR98 -0.000 0.073 ** 0.001 0.011 0.365 0. The number of observations N=3.006 ** ** RESTATE Coef SE CONSTANT -0.016 0.004 0.035 -0. and OTHER.042 0.005 0. RETIRE.002 -0.10: Renters: Continued ** ** 42 log Eh Coef SE 4.020 0.005 0.030 0.022 0.

043 CHILD1 0.053 Notes: The text defines the assets called ACCOUNT.054 0.095 0.036 0.058 0.105 0.552 0.030 CHILD2 CHILD3 0.056 0.064 0. 43 .534 0.090 0.101 0.141 0.047 0.063 0.089 0.Table 2. RETIRE.053 0.128 0.094 0.058 0.044 0.055 0.088 0.100 0.048 0.650 0. VEHICLE.047 0. HOUSE.132 0.120 0.038 0. STOCK.617 0.049 0.049 0.096 0.038 0. and RESTATE.061 0.093 0.590 0.057 0.103 0.056 0.577 0.043 0.036 0.086 0.023 0.602 0.111 0.112 0.037 0.114 0.122 0.043 0.626 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 0.055 0.047 0.102 0.642 0.611 0.099 0.033 0.594 0.043 0.064 0.040 0.044 0.607 0.079 0.049 0.070 0.

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

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

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

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

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

The model is estimated using a two- stage estimation procedure described in Maddala [45]. First.3 Data The data set used for estimation is the 1983 and 1989 panel of the SCF. then they should also reduce their ‘consumption’ of children.where ∗ ∆CHILDit = 1 if ∆CHILDit > 0 = 0 otherwise. Maddala [45] shows that the resulting estimates of the coefficients are consistent. and η1 should be negative. where η0 . and u2it is an error term representing unobservable variables. If consumers react to increases in uncertainty by cutting down their consumption. as suggested by the precautionary saving model. income and characteristics in 1983 and 1989.2) by OLS for all of the sample after substituting γ2 for γ2 for the fecund population ˆ and 0 for the other households. 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. Then I estimate the equation (3.3). The 1983 SCF interviewed a 51 . Note that the model is identified even if u1it and u2it are not independent s c and Xit includes all the variables in Xit . η1 and η2 are parameters to be estimated. This data set contains detailed information on household assets. This implies that households with higher income variability are less likely to have a child. liabilities. 3.

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

dummies representing asset holdings in 1983. 9 The income measure includes both capital and non-capital income. The first measure assumes that households have knowledge about their future income and expect their income to change over time as household characteristics change. The precautionary saving model predicts that income risk regarding capital income might have a different effect 53 .The inconsistency seems to be lower for home purchases (Kennickell and StarrMcCluer [38]). 1987 and 1988 are drawn from the 1983-1989 panel. The income measure comes from the question. To remove the predictable component of income growth. 103 households in the 1983 SCF. year dummies. I kept the value of the primary residence constant. Using the panel dimension of income observations in the data. 8 9 Income uncertainty at- Of the 4. 2.8 Income values for 1982. I define two measures of income uncertainty. 822 were reinterviewed in 1986 using a shorter questionnaire. before taxes and other deductions were made?’ Income of the households for 1983. ‘In [the preceding calendar year] how much was the total income you (and your family living here) received from all sources. I adjusted SAVE1 as follows to obtain a measure called SAVE2: whenever a household did not buy or sell a house that was the family’s primary residence. 1984. I regress log income on age. To exclude the capital gains. 1986. All values are converted to 1989 dollars using the Consumer Price Index Research Series Using Current Methods(CPI-U-RS). household demographic variables and age-interaction terms. and 1985 are drawn from the 1986 wave of SCF which was conducted with a large subset of 1983 respondents using a shorter questionnaire. education.

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

035 households with the heads between the age of 22 and 88 in 1983. this exclusion or a similar one is necessary when working with means which are affected by outliers. separation or the death of either head or spouse are excluded. 299 households out of 1. Therefore.. A household is only included in the analysis if it remained intact between 1983 and 1989 (i.180 households. The final sample consists of 1. See Kennickell and Starr-McCluer [37] for details. All variables are described in detail in Appendix B. 000. However. 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. those households with more than three missing or non-positive income values are dropped. households that experienced a change in composition such as marriage. 12 55 . 000 is somewhat arbitrary.e.13 Table 3. The variable ∆CHILD indiThe cut-off net worth of $10 million and saving of $600.479 experienced a major change in family composition and were dropped from the sample. In the panel 1983-89 SCF. 84 were dropped because of outlying net worth or saving values and 66 were dropped because of missing income values. 13 The sample design in 1983 specifically excluded households with the heads under the age of 22.2 illustrates the composition of the sample in detail.1.) This eliminates the income variability or net worth change caused by family separation or family creation. divorce.12 To calculate an accurate measure of income uncertainty. Of the remaining 1. I use VRL and VRLI without an instrumental variable estimator.to exclude for identification is problematic. The sample selection criteria for the sample are as follows.

Columns (1) and (2) provide the variable means and standard deviations of all of the households in the sample and the fecund households. Among fecund households. mostly married (89. and saved more compared to the other households in the sample.611 in 1983. ∆CHILD = 1 if the household experienced at least one birth of a child.6 percent of the fecund households had a child between 1983 and 1989.cates the fertility of the household between 1983 and 1989. Columns (3) and (4) of Table 3. 18. Also.3 percent had two children and 1.are plausible: households with an additional child are younger.14 I refer to the households that had a child as households with an additional child.with and without an additional child . Fecund households are headed by younger persons. According to the SCF data. respectively.0 percent had three. I use a probit model and a dummy variable to indicate the fertility choice instead of using a count data model. had less net worth in 1983. fecund households are faced with higher income uncertainty than the rest of the sample. but had higher income between 1983 and 1989. 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. which is $37.3 percent of the families experienced more than one birth during that time period-2.e. i. have higher expected income and have a higher number of young (0-6 years old) children in 1983..2 provides the variable means by household fertility of the fecund households.179 less than the mean net worth of the rest of the fecund houseOnly 3. comparisons across the two groups of households . Therefore. 14 56 . The average net worth for households with an additional child is $82.1 percent).

from 67. while fecund households without an additional child saved $7. The homeownership proportion among households with an additional child was 53. Also.5 in 1989. they saved $11. households with an additional child saved more than the rest of the fecund sample. 690. Households in the bottom 25 and top 10 percent of the SAVE2 distribution face higher income variability than the rest of sample. 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. the bottom 25 percent of the distribution faces a lower income variability than the households in the 25-50 percent of 57 .3. The measures of income uncertainty by household characteristics are given in Table 3.132 versus 0. The homeownership proportion for the rest of the fecund sample is higher in 1983 but compared to the households with an additional child.8 percent in 1989. According to SAVE1 and SAVE2.holds. On the other hand. when we compare the income uncertainty of the two groups. 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. 462.191). we observe that households who had a child are faced with lower income uncertainty (0. respectively. 648 and $6. 170 and $8. This suggests that households at the tails of the income distribution face higher uncertainty. 000. the increase is insignificant. 000 and above $60.0 percent in 1983 to 72. Uncertainty estimates are greater for households with mean income below $10. When households are grouped by SAVE1.7 percent in 1983 and rose to 77.

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

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

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

evaluated at the sample average of VRLI.500 less than the rest of the population whereas households in the bottom 25 percent of the wealth distribution save $3. 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.7).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.000 more than the rest of the sample.447.6 and Table 3.162 save about $15. Both SAVE1 and SAVE2 reduce with the number of adults living in the household.132-$8. households in the top 10 percent of the wealth distribution save almost $11. which is 0. Changes in the number of adults between 1983 61 .24 in column (1) of Table 3.34. regardless of the measure.6. Having 1983 net worth in the top 10 percent is associated with higher levels of SAVE1 and SAVE2 in all specifications. Before we examine the effect of children on savings.6 show that households in the top 10 percent of the wealth distribution and with VRLI of 0. Saving also increases with income.6 and SAVE 2 in Table 3. For example.162. respectively. around $7.500 less than the rest of the population as a result of an increase in income uncertainty. The results in Table 3.The results for two measures of savings are quite similar (SAVE1 in Table 3. However. let us look at the effect of the number of adults living in the household. which is 0. the results in Table 3. The estimated coefficient of the propensity to save out of transitory income is 0.

however being one year older and having an additional child increases savings.and 1989. The same is true for the number of children living in the household.555-$12. age does not affect the savings behavior of those without children. Also. the sample is restricted to only fecund households. For this. Controlling for the number of children already living in the household. we observe that the effects of the children and age interaction terms decrease but do not disappear.796 more) than household that do not expect to leave a bequest. 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 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. Households with children save less when the household head is below age 35 and save more above that age. That is another impact of children on household savings. however. and the fertility decision is modeled as an endoge- 62 . Having an additional child reduces savings. do not affect SAVE1 but appear to reduce SAVE2.6 and 3.7. This result highlights the importance of the interaction between household composition and the age of the household head. When we control for permanent income as in column (1) of Tables 3. households expecting to leave a bequest save significantly more (around $12.

depends on the age of the household head.695-13. I take into account the fact that fertility decisions are endogenous to household saving decisions. Overall. 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. even after controlling for several demographic characteristics. however. implying that younger households save less whereas older 15 See Maddala [45] for the models with self-selectivity. changes in the number of children and children already living in the household reveal a significant effect on household savings. The results show that households would have saved around $2. The direction of the response.6. average SAVE1 of the households that did not have a child is around $12.066 less if they had chosen to have a child. Finally.nous switching model.8. 3.5 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. The empirical results suggest that income uncertainty directly affects the probability of having a child.297-4.133 according to the results of the three regressions in Tables 3.15 The results are given in Table 3. This finding suggests that the overall effect of children on household saving is negative. 63 . In estimating this effect.

The main finding of this chapter is consistent with the life-cycle theory of saving and consumption. the age effect on savings disappears. After controlling for the number of children living in the household and the expectation of leaving a bequest. 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. 64 .households save more with an increase in the number of children.

345 0.122 0.1: Saving Motives by Age Groups.289 0. retirement. Observations are weighted to reflect the U.065 0.176 0. population as a whole. Notes: The table reports the proportion of households citing the selected motives as the most important reason for saving as ‘rainy days’.326 0.230 0.117 0.017 0.057 0.192 0.273 0. 1983 All By Age Below 31 31-40 41-50 51-60 61-70 70 and over Rainy Days Retirement Home 0.Table 3.052 0.S.010 0.362 0.323 0.000 Source: Survey of Consumer Finances.041 Children 0.206 0.000 0.047 0.111 0.383 0. Number of observations: 1035.016 0. 65 . 1983-1989.011 0.250 0.047 0. buying home and education of children respectively.004 0.

112 2. All variables are described in Appendix B.001 0.1 12.1 0.289 0.407 0.191 0.180 0.132 0.456 0. All dollar values are in 1989 dollars.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 45.778 0.938 0.537 0.516 2.8 12.120 0.437 0.791 1.788 0.795 0.670 0.556 0.624 0.490 0.725 0.734 0.4 0. 66 .169 Fecund HH ∆CHILD = 0 8282 7648 6868 6462 43109 44122 40171 39921 112861 119790 36.334 0.189 38.302 0.645 0.151 N 1035 509 422 87 Note: ∆CHILD=1 if the household had a child between 1983 and 1989 (0 otherwise).780 0.460 0.891 0.9 0.6 13.747 0.537 0.297 0.672 0.186 2.487 0.197 ∆CHILD = 1 11170 8690 38852 41210 82611 30.652 0.725 0. Observations are weighted using the sample weights. The table reports means of the variables.767 1.246 0.162 0.Table 3.4 13.424 0.055 0.092 2.1.7 0.372 0.135 0.845 0.

and VLI is the variance of log income.492 15.078) 25.169 (0.2117 (0.1088 (0.0 0.4472) (0.056 25.0988 (0.2973) Note: Standard deviations are given in parentheses.1284 (0.5836) (0.1715 (0.1889 (0.3524) (0.2657) Above $60.1794) Above $30.726.2013 0.2086) Above $314.1312 (0.2920 0.2299 0.1296 (0.3: Mean Income Uncertainty by Household Demographics % HH VRLI All 100 0.1707 (0.000-29.5512) SAVE2 Below (-$739) 25.4092) (0.1996) (0.1330 0.233-12.489 25.5530) NCHILD No Children 55.1803 0.162 (0.2391 (0.0 0.265 25.426) MEANINC Below $10.3230) $127.4780) $ 10.2330 (0.9087) NWORTH Below $10.2 0.1527 (0.1436 0.078)-1.999 37.2449) (0.3333) (0.5066) 1 Child 17. 67 .2642) $30.3234 (0.0 0.433) 0.0 0.446 10.057-30.2825) (0.1451 0.0 0. VRLI is the variance of residual log income.2374 (0.0 0.3980) Above $24.4232) $10.2281 (0.0 0.0 0.1479 (0.1 0.518-314.3279) SAVE1 Below (-$1.1808) (0.1056 0.232 25.0977 (0.126-24.6786) (0.1027 0.0 0.2210) (0.4963) 0.2269) (0.Table 3.000-59. All variables are defined in Appendix B.2274) (-$1. Observations are weighted using the sample weights (N=1305).0 0.492 10.2371) $1.1855 (0.5245) 0.446 15.999 36.1184 0.000 12.2134 0.1095 0.1363 (0.818 10.7 0.2 0.0 0.490-7.2458) 0.1832 (0.818 15.4881) (0.1462 (0.0 0.6129) (-$739)-1.1716 (0.0 0.125 25.2290 0.2171) 2 and more 27.7 0.2579) $7.3362 0.2740) (0.1468 0.0 0.725 25.10.5537) $ 1.0 0.2713 (0.6357) (0.265-52.1912 0.1559 0.0 0.4940) (0.0998 0.9431) (0.1194 (0.2738) (0.3376) VLI 0.0902 (0.3334) $52.6504) $10.7517 25.000 14.1.1269 (0.1 0.

272 9.1.257 43.636 27.3 8.220 34.2261 Note: ∆CHILD=1 if household had a child between 1983-1989 (0 otherwise).487 0. All variables are defined in Appendix B. 68 .769 0.Table 3.1408 0.899 0.0812 0.1507 20.2920 6.1727 3.1 4. 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 12.390 52.422 0.5 4.8 10.1369 0.619 3.331 23.5 24. and VLI is the variance of log income.2376 VLI 0.4: Savings.884 36.1774 0.628 0.1839 0.0841 56.812 6.912 0.3064 0.528 4.9 11.477 40.049 5. VRLI is the variance of residual log income.

** indicates significance at 5 percent level.35 0.0613] 0.1297] [ 0.0094] [-.006 TRANSINC/1000 -0.418 0.228 WHITE -0.0001] [ 0.714 NADULTS 0.1041] [-0.203** (1) Coef StdE 1.232 HAGE -0.369 [-0.5: Probit: Fertility Decision of Fecund Households (2) Coef StdE 1.331 HIGHSCH -0.31 0.0594] 69 CONSTANT AGE VLRI VLI PERMINC/1000 0.749** -0.366 -0.019** 0.130** 0.024** 0.720* -0.397 0.717* -0.410 0.566 [-0.063 0.062 -160.980 -0.389 0.000 0.001 1.627** 0.0675] -0.1038] [-0.130 0.060 -2.020** [-.068 YOUNGCH -1.0553] [-0.0577] (3) Coef StdE 1.392** 0.886** 0.134 0.0001] [ 0.225** [-.178** 0.186** [-.409 0.565 1. Marginal effects are given in the brackets.0550] [-0. and * indicates significance at 10 percent level.420 YAGE 0. YAGE is YOUNGCH×AGE.0920] 1.049 Likelihood -152.543 0.130** 0.0095] [-.0845] [-0.623** 0.166** 0.3338] [-0.229 -0.368 -0.385** 0.236 [-0.0786] [-0.448 0.060 [-0.0099] [-.768 0.024** Note: Coef reports coefficients and StdE reports standard errors.369 -0.14 0.3340] [-0.047 [-0.154** 0.1037] [-0.384** 0. .20 Pseudo R2 0.564 HOWN83 2.627** 0.31 0.1040] [-0.0612] [0.0829] [-0.020** -0.208** 0. Number of observations N=509.001** 0.001 1.131 0.0844] [-0.0787] [-0.357 0.154** 0.208** 0.545 0.060 -160.2375] -2.0541] -0.175** 0.000* 0.001 MEANINC/1000 MARRIED 1.0625] -0.998 -0.0426] -0.073 SPFULLT -0. and HAGE is HOWN83×AGE.225** 0.953** 0.886** 0.077 0.132** 0.019** 0.063 0.0008] [-.001* [ 0.024** 0.047 -0.Table 3.175** 0.027** 0.021** -0.844 MIDDCH -0.00 0.

Table 3. and * indicates significance at 10 percent level.6: Regressions of SAVE1 on Income Uncertainty with Endogenous Fertility Decision (1) Coef StdE 19212 19254 2250 2252 343 3520 26829 12463 ** -21824 6015 ** -71146 29321 ** 2180 2441 -500 3222 36903 11508 ** -464 3230 37290 11447 ** -22195 5914 ** -71517 28439 ** (2) Coef StdE 15228 19373 (3) Coef StdE 15240 19296 2258 2365 70 -208 294 -134139 93086 4256 3304 343 102 ** 240 59 ** -7554 3838 ** -22542 11934 * 646 320 ** 12654 5751 ** -7664 5177 .22 257 53 -7244 3908 -24818 11791 707 319 12952 5786 -7845 5112 .22 ** ** ** ** ** Note: Coef reports coefficients and StdE reports standard errors.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 * . . ** indicates significance at 5 percent level. Number of observations=1.035.

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 -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 * . Number of observations=1. ** indicates significance at 5 percent level. .035.18 Note: Coef reports coefficients and StdE reports standard errors.18 223 57 -8264 3929 -24089 11699 686 319 11736 5772 -10074 5321 . and * indicates significance at 10 percent level.Table 3.

Table 3.527 10.672 8. 72 .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.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) 13.154 10.133 12.695 12.

Understanding the effect of financing children’s college education on household saving behavior is important at least for three reasons. Of those contributing to their children’s college costs.1 Introduction The purpose of this chapter is to analyze an important life-cycle saving motive: saving for children’s college education. While the percentage was lower for those in the lower income group (income below $35. 90 percent of dependent undergraduate’s parents contributed to their children’s college costs. and the average amount of their support was about $3.Chapter 4 Saving for Children’s College Education 4.900 (Choy and Henke [14]). Using the 1983-86 SCF. parents contribute a significant amount to their children’s college costs. and 80 percent reported using some current income. about 65 percent reported using some previous savings. According to the 1996 National Postsecondary Student Aid Survey (NPSAS). First. Gale and Scholz [23] estimate that the annual flow of parental 73 .000) it was 98 percent (Presley and Clery [47]).000). for those in the higher income group (income above $70. 65 percent of the parents contributed a positive amount to their children’s college costs as a gift. According to the 1987 NPSAS.

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

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

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

1 shows the percentage of households in the 1983 survey citing retirement. income fluctuations and bequests have motivated substantial research. ‘rainy days’ (emergencies and unemployment).’ home purchase and children’s education.5 percent of households list ‘rainy days’ as the most important reason for saving. Among the households saving for retirement. taking vacations and so on. Table 4. and buying durable household goods. The SCF contains a question that asks the household’s most important reason for saving.’ is the most cited reason. ‘rainy days. medical and dental expenses.Although saving for retirement.3 percent list retirement and 5. buying a home and other reasons as the most important reason for saving. 15. The last column of Table 4.3). education of children. While 35.3 percent list education as the most important reason for saving. The table provides the responses of the sample used in this chapter. 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. One exception is Souleles [49]. Using the Consumer Expenditure Survey. His findings are consistent with the life-cycle theory of consumption and saving. the motive of saving for children’s education has not been much investigated.1 shows the percentage of households reporting that they cannot or do not save. The sample includes households with nonretired heads and spouses (The SCF and restrictions on the sample are discussed in Section 4. Other reasons for saving include saving for ordinary living expenses. 77 . Souleles [49] examines consumption of households as they pay for the college expenses of their children. saving for ‘rainy days.

Among the households in the higher wealth groups. Controlling for the 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. As the number of children increases. Table 4. For example. the percentage of households saving for retirement increases with wealth.’ retirement and other reasons show a systematic trend relative to the total number of children.8 percent). 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. Among the households in the bottom 25 percentile of the wealth distribution. This table shows that the number of 78 .4 percent in the top 25 percentile report saving for retirement. while only 2. 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.1 also shows the percentage of households citing each saving motive by the number of children and net worth in 1983. the percentage of households citing ‘rainy days’ and other reasons as the most important reason decreases.The percentage of households saving for ‘rainy days. 5. among households with 1 or 2 children.7 percent of those in bottom 25 percentile of wealth distribution report saving for retirement. and the percentage of households citing retirement as the most important reason increases. 24. the effect of the number of children on the percentage of households reporting saving for children’s education disappears.

The data from the 1983-86 SCF is used to estimate two equations in which the dependent variables are household savings and 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. the effect of anticipated educational expenses on household savings are estimated.children has a significant effect on saving motives. In this chapter. I also obtain predictions concerning the simultaneous determination of family size and college expenditures per child. 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. The remainder of this chapter is organized as follows. the empirical findings provide an answer to why saving is concentrated among wealthier households. and they save in advance for these expenses.000 in children’s college expenses saves $8. Using the actual college expenses reported in the SCF. Other things constant. households save for their children’s college expenditures. Households with higher income and wealth expect to have higher educational expenses. Further. Section 4.2 an79 .000 more than it would had it not expected to have any college expenses. 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. Also. a household with a 43 year old head expecting to have $2. We continue to observe this effect even after controlling for the household wealth. and the amount of savings increases with the age of the household head.

a couple earns y1 . Section 4. Finally. 4. Section 4.3 describes the 1983-86 SCF. 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. e.5 estimates the determinants of college expenditures and uses these estimates to investigate the effect of expected college expenditures on household savings.1) . and the family consumes together c1 and saves A to earn interest at the rate of r. chooses to have n children.4 provides a framework for the empirical analysis of the interaction between savings and college expenditures. c2 .3) (4. Section 4.2) (4.2 A Model of Saving for College This section considers a world in which individuals (parents) live for two periods. second-period consumption. In the first period. per capita college investment is assumed to be equal for all n children. n) subject to c1 = y1 − A c2 = y2 + (1 + r)A − πen 80 (4.6. For simplicity. investment to each child’s education.alyzes a model of the quality-quantity interaction of fertility with household savings. a summary and conclusions are presented in Section 4. Parents choose first-period consumption. In the second period.

If the utility function is CES with equal elasticity of substitution between all arguments.2) and (4. equation (4. n) (4. which results in an increase in accumulated assets. a decrease in second-period consumption is likely to decrease the first-period consumption.5) (4. y2 + (1 + r)A − πen.3) into (4. Ue is the marginal utility of children’s education. and Un is the marginal utility of family size. Substituting (4.4) where the three choice variables are accumulated assets (A). e. Since the right-hand side is a constant.7) where U1 and U2 are the marginal utility of consumption in the first and second periods. 81 . This expression implies that an increase in educational expenses decreases the second-period consumption relative to first-period consumption. respectively. y2 + (1 + r)A − πen (4.5) can be written as follows: 1 y1 − A = (1 + r) γ−1 . educational expenses (e) and the number of children (n).where π is the price of education. The first-order conditions are −U1 + (1 + r)U2 = 0 −πnU2 + Ue = 0 −πeU2 + Un = 0 (4.6) (4.1) yields the following unconstrained maximization problem: U = U (y1 − A.8) where γ is the elasticity of substitution.

The empirical specification of the model described below controls for precautionary saving while it estimates the effect of educational expenses on household savings. 3 82 . 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. In this case.To extend the analysis to account for uncertainty. If the third derivative is positive. then U2 is a convex function.7).6) and (4. E1 [U2 ] exceeds U2 [E1 ].3 The combination of a positive third derivative of the utility function and uncertainty about future income reduces consumption in the first period. When uncertainty about future income is assumed. 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. let us assume that the second period wage income y2 is stochastic. household saving can be associated with two different saving motives: saving for uncertainty about future income (precautionary saving) and saving for children’s education. 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. This interdependence implies an inverse relationship between the number of children and educational expenses.

This variable includes children of previous marriages living with former spouses.4 The college expenditure variable (COLLEXP) captures the quality dimension associated with the expenditure per child.822 of these households were reinterviewed. The 1983 survey contains interviews from a random sample of 3. the data does not differentiate between children away in college or living on their own and with former spouses. liabilities. The fertility variable (CHILD) is the number of children of either the respondent or spouse. 2. The first measure. The college expenditure variable is the outlay of college education per child. 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. The variables used in the empirical analysis are classified into four groups: fertility. In 1986. Unfortunately.4. college expenditure. The respondents were also asked how many years of college their children completed from 1983-85. income and demographic characteristics. In 1986.3 Data The empirical analysis uses data from the 1983-1986 SCF. The SCF contains detailed information on household assets. savings and other control variables. including those not living in the household.824 households and a high-income supplement of 438 households. Household savings are measured in two ways. 4 83 . SAVE1. I use the number of children attending college and the number of years they attended to normalize college expenditures.

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

811.690 households. Table 4. respectively. The head of the median household reports that it is all right to borrow money for educational expenses. According to the first measure of savings. Also. These restrictions leave us with a sample containing 1.575 in 1986 dollars. The sample is also constrained to include only the households with nonretired household heads and their spouses if the head is married. Estimating the relationship between savings and educational expenditures is complicated for families who experienced a major change in composition such as marriage and divorce. The average household net worth in 1983 is $81. Households with retired household heads are assumed to be in the life-cycle stage of dissaving.806 and according to second measure.005. it saves $4.1 gives a detailed definition of the variables used in the estimation of the model. households with family income above $100.is the difference between reported income in 1985 and estimated permanent income. Table 4. For households with nonzero college expenditures. The average household in the sample is headed by a forty two year old married high school graduate and includes two children. The sample is restricted to families that did not change composition from 1983-86.296. Appendix C.3 presents average household savings and college expenses by 85 .931 and $3. the average expenditure is $2.2 presents summary statistics of the variables used. the typical household saves $5. Permanent and transitory incomes in 1985 are $25.000 are excluded to avoid the difficulty of modeling the relationship between educational expenditures and savings.

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.9) (4. 25-75 percentile and top 25 percentile) spend less per child as the number of children attending college increases. However. The data show that households continue to save while children are in college.the number of children attending college.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. 4. Savings of households with children in college increase with net worth. However. Households in the top 25 percentile of the wealth distribution with two or more children in college save on average $18. household savings increase with the number of children in college. Table 4.3 also breaks down savings and college expenses by the number of children in college and net worth in 1983. The data show that college expenses increase with net worth. college expenditures per child decreases. Households in all three wealth groups (bottom 25 percentile. household savings increase with the number of children in college.077.10) . As the number of children in college increases. the number of children in college is inversely related to the expenditure per child as predicted by the quantityquality model.

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

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

9). the amount of college expenditure decreases with the number of children. The right-hand variables also include other factors that might affect the college expenditures. age (AGE) and education (COLLEG) of the household head.5 reports estimates of the equation (4.controlling for marital status. SCHEDUC and SHOME). and 252 reported contributing a positive amount to their children’s college expenses. 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 . namely. I use the estimates of the regression to predict the completed household fertility when the household head is 55 years old (CHILD). -$187).690 households in the sample. SEMERG. Columns 1 and 2 contain the results with CHILD and columns 3 and 4 contain the results with CHILD. The instrumental estimate of the coefficient on the number of children is almost three times as large as the OLS estimate (-$459 vs. The average CHILD is 3. 338 had a child attending college between 1983-86.03. and permanent and transitory income (PERINC and TRINC). Of the 1. 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. Table 4. households with spouses working full-time and with high school and college degrees have fewer children. As predicted by the quantity-quality model. Households with children attending college between 1983-86 are included in the estimation of the Tobit regression.

5 show that increases in permanent and transitory income increase the level of expenditures for educational expenses. The average COLLEXP is $1. Estimates in Table 4. ˆ Using the approximation. While the average contribution of households in the bottom 25 percentile of wealth distribution is $1.12) where σ is the estimate of the standard error.789 per child. Households with heads who believe that it is all right to borrow for educational expenses have higher expenditures. Φ is the standard normal cumuˆ ˆ lative distribution. to calculate the expected college expenditures (COLLEXP ). The amount of contribution to children’s college education increases with wealth. Estimated contributions of the households with children in college are very close to the actual expenses. the average contribution of the top 25 percentile is $3. CHILD. respectively. Table 4. and δ1 and κ1 are the estimates of δ1 and κ1 . Households citing saving for children’s education as the most important reason for saving spend more than other households.093 per child. The last two columns of Table 4.6 show SAVE1 and SAVE2 for households with 90 . Households citing saving for retirement and buying a home as the most important reason for saving spend less on children’s education.436. I use estimates of the Tobit model and the expected completed fertility. ˆ σ (4.6 presents actual and estimated college expenses by household net worth in 1983.variables as follows: ˆ ˆ δ1 ∗ Φ((δ1 ni + x1i κ1 )/ˆ ). an additional child results in a drop of $317 in expected college expenditures at the mean of values.

Interestingly. and columns 3 and 4 contain the estimates for SAVE2. the coefficient of expected college expenditure (COLLEXP ) is negative and the coefficient of age interaction term (AGE×COLLEXP ) is positive. the data in Table 4. In estimates of both equations. gender (FEMALE) of the household head. Table 4.000 between 1893-86. which are retirement and emergencies (SRETIRE and SEMERG). a dummy indicating whether or not the household had a windfall greater than $3. Similar to Table 4. a dummy indicating whether the household head is willing to take risky investments (RISKY). However.7 presents the effect of expected college expenditures on household savings.and without children in college. nonurban residence (NSMSA) and dummies indicating household net worth in 1983 (NWORTH25 and NWORTH75).6 show that wealthier families contribute more to their children’s education and continue to save while their children are in college. Households in the bottom 25 percentile of wealth distribution save significantly less than those without children in college. two other reasons for saving. indicating that an increase in expected college expenditure raises 91 . The estimates of SAVE1 and SAVE2 are very similar.3. households in top 25 percentile of the wealth distribution save almost five times more if they have a child in college. Explanatory variables include age (AGE). permanent and transitory incomes (PERINC and TRINC). Columns 1 and 2 contain the estimates for SAVE1. households with greater wealth save more if they have a child attending college. and the number of children attending college between 1983-86 (NCHCOLL).

I mean a household in the 25-75 percentile of the wealth distribution. Permanent income increases both SAVE1 and SAVE2. citing a motive other than retirement or emergencies as the most 92 . 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. household savings are calculated in five year intervals.493 more and households in the top 25 percentile save $11. However. households with heads who are willing to undertake risky investments save $7.833 more than other households. the figure first calculates savings of a typical household expecting to contribute $2. By typical. Figure 4. Unfortunately.1 shows the effect of the age of the household head on SAVE1.savings after age 28. Finally. Using the estimates in Table 4. The effect of transitory income on both measures of savings is positive and significant.7.398 less than those in the middle of the wealth distribution .000 to college expenses and compares it to what it would have saved. For each age group. saving for emergencies does not significantly affect savings. Finally. Households citing saving for retirement as the most important reason save more. the number of children attending college does not significantly decrease household savings. the data does not have detailed information on the years that children were attending college between 1983 and 1986. showing that households save approximately 39 percent of their transitory income. households in the bottom 25 percentile of the wealth distribution save $2. This result does not necessarily mean that households are not saving for children’s college education.

that this household starts saving for retirement when the household head is 43 years old. I also obtain predictions 93 . for example. The results in Table 4. The results show that savings of the household with an anticipated $2. If we assume. This striking result is due to the assumption that this household is assumed not to cite saving for retirement as the most important reason. The effect of expecting to contribute $2000 on household savings is $8. this will increase its saving by $4. If the household does not expect to contribute to children’s college expenses.000 college expenses increase with age. and it increases with the age of the household head.000 at the age of 43. 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.6 Conclusion This chapter examines the effect of saving for children’s college edu- cation on household savings. headed by a male. The household is assumed to have average permanent and transitory incomes for their age group.894. who is not willing to undertake risky investments and did not receive a windfall greater than $3.000 between 1983-86. savings decline to zero at the age of 43. Saving motives change with age and household composition. This figure only shows that controlling for other factors.894. 4. the effect of anticipated college expenses on savings is positive and significant.important saving motive.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. I analyze the effect of educational expenditures on two different measures of savings. which show that despite large college expenses. By focusing on household savings.000 at the age of 43. and the change in net worth excluding the capital gains on primary residence.concerning the simultaneous determination of family size and college expenditure per child. The main finding of this chapter is that households save in advance for children’s college expenditures. The model uses the expected expenditures and other control variables that affect savings to estimate an equation of savings. 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. households smooth consumption into the academic year and do not cut consumption in the 6-9 months before the academic year starts. Using the actual college expenditures reported in the 1983-86 Survey of Consumer Finances. the difference between savings of households with and without college expenses can be as high as $8. The results are also consistent with the findings in Souleles [49]. 94 . Other things constant. I estimate expected expenditures on children’s college education. which are the change in net worth between 1983 and 1986. The amount of savings for college expenses increases with the age of the household head.

471 0.337 0.004 0.027 0.339 0.042 0.037 NWORTH 0-25p 0 1-2 3 or more 0 1-2 3 or more 0 1-2 3 or more 0.087 0.377 0.042 0.000 0.023 0.355 0.Table 4. . Tabulations are weighted using the sample weights.381 0.391 0.310 0.079 0.016 0.397 0. 1983.057 0.060 0.066 0.543 0.053 SHOME 0.369 0.033 0.070 0.058 0.027 0.053 0.049 0. SOTHER: saving for other reasons and NOSAVE: cannot/does not save.341 0.345 SEMERG SCHEDU 0.212 0.068 0.264 0.035 SOTHER 0.351 0.1: Saving Motives By the Number of Children SRETIRE 0.440 0.029 0.223 0.082 0.000 0.383 0.’ SCHEDU: saving for the education of children. Notes: This table reports the proportion of households citing the selected motives as the most important reason for saving.013 0.244 0.063 0. SRETIRE: saving for retirement.455 0. The number of observations N=1690.120 0.074 0.380 NOSAVE 0.083 0.469 0.404 0.341 0.278 0.064 0.023 HH 0.115 0.010 0.000 0.002 0.279 0.016 95 0.382 0.009 0.021 0.057 0.102 0.153 CHILD 0 1-2 3 or more 0. SEMERGE: saving for ‘rainy days.043 0. SHOME: saving to buy a home.043 0.032 25-75p 75 to 100p Source: Survey of Consumer Finances.401 0.049 0.009 0.330 0.007 0.

43 14.Table 4. All variables are described in Appendix C.28 RISKY 0.24 0.50 BLACK 0. 96 .53 0.41 33402.1.17 0.24 0. The number of observations N=1690.36 SAVE1 5806.47 2.2: Descriptive Summary of Variables Variables Mean Std.86 PERINC 25931.48 BEDUCAT 0.65 0.13 35397. Deviation CHILD 2.33 MARRIED 0.28 0.43 HIGHSCH 0.45 Source: Survey of Consumer Finances.08 161860.64 NWORTH 81575.47 SAVE2 4811.68 AGE 42.43 COLLEG 0.86 0.08 0. 1983-86. All dollar values are reported in 1986 dollars.32 2817.10 FEMALE 0.35 WINDF 0.11 12491. Notes: Tabulations are weighted using sample weights.32 15127.14 COLLEXP> 0 2005.37 NSMSA 0.13 0.75 TRINC 3296.

The number of observations N=1690.3: 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. All dollar values are reported in 1986 dollars. 97 . 1983-86. Notes: NCHCOLL shows the number of children attending college between 1983-86.Table 4. Tabulations are weighted using sample weights.

145 ** 0.038 0.057 ** -0.4: Poisson Regression: Number of Children CONSTANT AGE FEMALE FSPOUSE HIGHSCH COLLEG BLACK MARRIED NONSMSA PERINC/1000 HIGHSCHSP COLLEGSP N OBS Mean of dependent variable Log L R2 Coefficient Std.134 ** 0.293 Source: Survey of Consumer Finances.078 0.032 0.039 ** -0. Variables are described in Appendix C.461 0. 98 .090 ** -0.43 -2971.964 0.389 0.106 0.097 ** 0. Error -1. and * indicates significance at 10 percent level.717 0.004 ** -0.Table 4.48 0.1.038 0.930 0. Notes: ** indicates significance at 5 percent level.022 0.062 ** 1690 2.062 ** 1.128 ** 0. 1983-86.126 ** -0.408 0.435 0.

1 -4936.8 ** -1103.0 0.5 551.8 468.9 -458.4 1589.7 ** 1391.5: Tobit Estimates of College Expenditure Equation Coefficient Std. and * indicates significance at 10 percent level.4 555.8 -372. 1983-86.7 1467.5 22.6 -1124.5 472.1 72.6 -407. Notes: ** indicates significance at 5 percent level.8 -7.3 134.9 ** -4903.1 550.8 473.70 Source: Survey of Consumer Finances.2 19. 99 .6 133.0 ** 72.0 ** 2905. Error Coefficient Std.1 1063.7 338 .9 ** -187.9 -45.4 23. Error -601.8 232.0 409.2 88.6 1452.81 CONSTANT AGE CHILD CHILD PERINC/1000 BEDUCAT SRETIRE SEMERG SCHEDUC SHOME COLLEG TRINC/1000 SIGMA N OBS Proportion of + observations Log L ** ** * ** ** * ** ** -2429.3 609.5 -1335.Table 4.9 ** 67.4 92.9 2912.7 * 997.0 9.746 -2429.2 2524.4 10.3 2444.1.6 408.1 611.5 18. All variables are described in Appendix C.9 557.

02 0 7.65 0 1.59 2334 17. Notes: Tabulations are weighted using sample weights. 1983-86. The number of observations N=1690.6: 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 .Table 4.93 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. All dollar values are reported in 1986 dollars.29 1436 44. CHCOLL=1 if the household has a child attending college between 1983-86 (0 otherwise).52 0 5.

1 * 4679.6 10944.5 . 1983-86.8 -615.1 4.0 7833.2 ** -1284.8 3349.4 2538.8 ** 6820.8 2783.2 1820.6 407.8 4.3 416.7 ** 0.3 ** 309.8 382.8 140.1 3139.0 -790.9 2474. a Predicted value of the variable from Tobit regression of educational expenditures.3 10.0 382.8 .5 2493.107 SAVE2 Coefficient Std. and * indicates significance at 10 percent level.2 ** -9.8 761.3 -774.6 1516.6 -315.4 ** 336.5 1325.2 3.8 3199.4 2434.6 ** -9329.0 1642. Error ** 22327.9 11080.3 0.2 -10.9 139.3 0.5 2409.2 5041.0 5607.1 2796. Notes: ** indicates significance at 5 percent level. Error 22618.2 3.Table 4.3 ** 10.5 -1310.1. All variables are described in Appendix C.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.3 2016.0 -11398.3 2954.8 160. .3 * 3028.6 388.6 2026.9 1728.2 3422.5 0.8 163.0 2460.0 1271.1 4894.084 Source: Survey of Consumer Finances.

102 . 736 − • • • | 23 −1.Figure 4. 791 − ? savings of a household with $2000 college expenses. 045 − • 3.1: The Importance of Educational Expenses on Savings SAVE16 10. 068 − | 28 | 33 | 38 | 43 • | 48 | 53 Age • • −5. • savings of a household with no college expenses.

Appendices 103 .

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

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

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

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

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

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. Household net worth in 1983. SAVE2 First difference in net worth between 1983-89 controlling for capital gains in home prices divided by 6. 109 . =1 if the household in the bottom 25 percent of the net worth distribution in 1983.1 Name SAVE1 Definition of Variables Description First difference in net worth between 1983-89 divided by 6. VRI MEANINC PERMINC TRANS NWORTH NWORTH25 Variance of log income. AGE Age of the household head in 1983. Mean of reported income between 1982-88. VRLI Variance of residual of log income from the earnings equation. Mean of the residual income from the earnings regression.Appendix B Appendix for Chapter 3 B.

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

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

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

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