puzzling question from Levitt and Dubner

04Jul07

Why do people buy bigger houses when they retire and their children are gone?

A plausible conjecture is that a large house close to grown children’s homes may lure the grandchildren to visit more often. With divorce and remarriage more common than in decades past, many children today have six or more grandparents, if the parents of stepparents are included. The demand for visits with grandchildren has thus increased, but the supply of visits has not. So grandparents may hope to increase their share of available visits by building a spacious house that is conveniently located.

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