Anticipation and Long Tern Decisions for the Elderly Americans: Determinants of Parent-Child Proximity

Yiduo Zhang, Johns Hopkins University

Considering the adjustment cost in changing residence, older parent and their adult child are less likely to adjust living arrangements constantly to cope with changes in health and wealth. They may make long term decisions considering risks of future adverse events. Unfortunately, this factor has not been considered in most studies in living arrangements for the elderly. Using HRS wave 2000, older parents’ subjective survival probability are found to be negatively associated with probability of living within 10 miles (including coresidence) from their nearest child only for the married mothers. It is positively associated with the probability of living apart from any children (including living within and beyond 10 miles) only for the unmarried mothers. Specific pattern for older fathers are not detected. It seems older mothers are more likely to be driven by anticipations in making long term decisions and their make counterparts are followers.

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Presented in Poster Session 1: Aging, Life Course, Health, Mortality, and Health Care