Changes in Household Living Arrangements 1950-76

18 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2001 Last revised: 21 Sep 2010

See all articles by Robert T. Michael

Robert T. Michael

University of Chicago; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Victor R. Fuchs

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Sharon R. Scott

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: June 1980

Abstract

The growth in single-person households is a pervasive behavioral phenomenon in the United States in the post-war period. In this paper we investigate determinants of the propensity to live alone, using 1970 data across states for single men and women ages 25 to 34 and for elderly widows. Income level appears to be a major determinant of the propensity to live alone. The estimated cross-state equations track about three-quarters of the increase in the propensity to live alone between 1950-1976 and suggest that income growth has been the principal identified influence. Other variables found to affect (positively) the propensity to live alone include mobility, schooling level, and for young people a measure of social climate; non-whites appear to have a somewhat lower propensity to live alone.

Suggested Citation

Michael, Robert T. and Fuchs, Victor R. and Scott, Sharon R., Changes in Household Living Arrangements 1950-76 (June 1980). NBER Working Paper No. w0262. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=260454

Robert T. Michael (Contact Author)

University of Chicago ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Victor R. Fuchs

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Sharon R. Scott

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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