Abstract

This paper uses wealth changes driven by housing market variation to estimate the effect of family resources on fertility decisions. Using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, we show that a $100,000 increase in housing wealth among home owners causes a 16% to 18% increase in the probability of having a child. There is no evidence of an effect of MSA-level housing price growth on the fertility of renters, however. We also present evidence that housing wealth growth increases total fertility and that the responsiveness of fertility to housing wealth has increased over time, commensurate with the recent housing boom.

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