Household Formation Over Time: Evidence from Two Cohorts of Young Adults
Residential investment accounts for an important component of U.S. gross domestic product, and traditionally plays a strong role in business cycle expansions. U.S. residential investment has improved slowly during the recovery from the Great Recession, despite a relatively strong national rebound in house prices and record low interest rates. An important determinant of residential investment is the household formation rate, which is largely driven by young adults moving out of their parents' homes after completing high school or college. New household formation can be offset when existing households combine, typically through marriage or by moving in with parents or other relatives for economic reasons. This paper uses National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) data from the 1979 and the 1997 cohorts to examine how various demographic, economic, and geographic factors influence the rate of household formation among young adults, both within cohorts and over time across cohorts.