Are Leavers and Returners Different? Determinants of Coresidence After Adult Children Leave Home
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The paper examines the determinants of coresidence between parents and adult children. Using 34 waves of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics from 1968 to 2005 and event history models, I find that there is an unambiguous distinction between nest leavers and nest returners. Marital status and employment status of adult children are the most important time-dependent determinants of nest-returning, and older cohorts have a higher propensity to return home. Parents in good health support their children returning home when significant life events endanger the adult children's ability to live alone. Therefore I argue that coresidence is a rational support but not a competition between children's need and parent's need. Further cohort comparisons also show adult children's life events matter for older cohorts, but parents' marital disruption matters for younger cohorts.