On the Living Arrangements of Elderly Widows

José Víctor Ríos-Rull, Carlos Bethencourt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Between 1970 and 1990, the share of elderly widows living alone grew by 23.2% in the United States, whereas those living with their children decreased by a similar amount. We pose a variety of models for determining the living arrangements in which living together increases consumption because of economies of scale and may also provide utility directly. We estimate these models using the 1970 data and obtain an excellent fit. The estimated models predict that changes in the incomes of both the widow and her offspring generate three-quarters of the increase in the number of widows living alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)773-801
Number of pages29
JournalInternational Economic Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2009


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