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Language, Agglomeration and Hispanic Homeownership

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  • Donald R. Haurin
  • Stuart S. Rosenthal

Abstract

As of the fourth quarter of 2007, 74.9% of white non-Hispanic families but only 48.5% of Hispanic families owned homes. We argue that low rates of homeownership in Hispanic communities create a self-reinforcing mechanism that contributes to this large disparity. In part, this occurs because proximity to other homeowners belonging to a family's social network improves access to information about how to become a homeowner. Role model effects may also be relevant. We investigate these issues using household-level data on out-of-state movers from the 2000 Decennial Census. Three especially important results are obtained. First, proximity to Hispanic homeowners in the 1995 place of residence increases the propensity of a Hispanic family to own a home in 2000. Second, that effect is especially strong with respect to proximity to weak English-speaking Hispanic homeowners. Third, these patterns hold regardless of the Hispanic family's own ability to speak English. From a policy perspective, these results suggest that local programs designed to promote homeownership among weak English-speaking Hispanic families likely increase Hispanic homeownership beyond just the immediate program participants. Copyright (c) 2009 American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association in its journal Real Estate Economics.

Volume (Year): 37 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 155-183

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Handle: RePEc:bla:reesec:v:37:y:2009:i:2:p:155-183

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References

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  1. Walter S. McManus, 1990. "Labor Market Effects of Language Enclaves: Hispanic Men in the United States," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(2), pages 228-252.
  2. Trejo, Stephen J, 1997. "Why Do Mexican Americans Earn Low Wages?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1235-68, December.
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  4. Coulson, N. Edward, 1999. "Why Are Hispanic- and Asian-American Homeownership Rates So Low?: Immigration and Other Factors," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 209-227, March.
  5. Julian R. Betts & Darlene Morell, 1999. "The Determinants of Undergraduate Grade Point Average: The Relative Importance of Family Background, High School Resources, and Peer Group Effects," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(2), pages 268-293.
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  7. Stuart S. Rosenthal & William C. Strange, 1999. "Geography, Industrial Organization, and Agglomeration," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 14, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
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Cited by:
  1. Zorlu, Aslan & Mulder, Clara H. & van Gaalen, Ruben, 2014. "Ethnic Disparities in the Transition to Home Ownership," IZA Discussion Papers 8039, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Coulson, N. Edward & Dalton, Maurice, 2010. "Temporal and ethnic decompositions of homeownership rates: Synthetic cohorts across five censuses," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 155-166, September.

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