The Dynamics of Living Arrangements of the Elderly

44 Pages Posted: 31 May 2001 Last revised: 15 Aug 2021

See all articles by Axel H. Börsch-Supan

Axel H. Börsch-Supan

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA)

Laurence J. Kotlikoff

Boston University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy

John N. Morris

Hebrew Rehabilitation Center for the Aged

Date Written: December 1988

Abstract

This paper uses a new data set to study the choice of living arrangements of some 3000 Massachusetts elderly between 1982 and 1986. The data have a number of unique features; they are longitudinal and combine detailed information on health with information on economic status and family relations. This paper considers the influence on living arrangements of alternative measures of health (subjective versus functional abilities versus diagnosed condition), incomes and marital status of parents, and the number and sexes of children. It also examines the extent to which changes in health and the death of a spouse trigger changes in living arrangements and how rapidly such changes occur. The main findings of the paper are: Functional ability indices are very good predictors of living arrangements. Subjective health reports are poor predictors of living arrangements. The probability of institutionalization declines rapidly with the income of the elderly. In the cases of the older old daughters are much more likely than sons to share living quarters. Living arrangements are fairly stable. When changes in living arrangements occur they are often triggered by changes in health status or the death of a spouse. When deterioration in health status or the death of a spouse leads to a change in living arrangements, such changes typically occur within a year of the triggering event.

Suggested Citation

Börsch-Supan, Axel H. and Kotlikoff, Laurence J. and Morris, John N., The Dynamics of Living Arrangements of the Elderly (December 1988). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=268189

Axel H. Börsch-Supan (Contact Author)

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) ( email )

Amalienstrasse 33
Munich, 80799
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.mea.mpisoc.mpg.de

Laurence J. Kotlikoff

Boston University - Department of Economics ( email )

270 Bay State Road
Boston, MA 02215
United States
617-353-4002 (Phone)
617-353-4449 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Cambridge, MA 02138
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Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy

Gazetny per. 5-3
Moscow, 125993
Russia

John N. Morris

Hebrew Rehabilitation Center for the Aged

1200 Centre Street
Boston, MA 02131
United States

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