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What are the social benefits of homeownership? Experimental evidence for low-income households

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Author Info

  • Engelhardt, Gary V.
  • Eriksen, Michael D.
  • Gale, William G.
  • Mills, Gregory B.

Abstract

We estimate the social benefits of homeownership using an exogenous instrument based on randomly assigned treatment status from a field experiment that subsidized saving for home purchase for low-income renters through Individual Development Accounts (IDAs). This approach attempts to eliminate the potential correlation present in previous analyses between unobserved individual characteristics leading to homeownership and traits leading to provision of social capital or local amenities. Consistent with previous work, we show that homeownership positively affects political engagement in simple probits. Instrumental variable probits, however, show no impact of homeownership on political involvement. IV results for other social outcomes are less conclusive. The analysis suggests that with the use of an exogenous instrument, it is possible to generate results that are different from the previous literature. Our results also suggest that being eligible to open an IDA did not spur households to provide more social capital or local amenities.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Urban Economics.

Volume (Year): 67 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 249-258

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Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:67:y:2010:i:3:p:249-258

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622905

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Keywords: Homeownership Social benefits;

References

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  1. Jakob Roland Munch & Michael Rosholm & Michael Svarer, 2006. "Home Ownership, Job Duration, and Wages," CAM Working Papers 2006-08, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
  2. Rosen, Harvey S., 1985. "Housing subsidies: Effects on housing decisions, efficiency, and equity," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 375-420 Elsevier.
  3. Gary V. Engelhardt & Christopher J. Mayer, 1995. "Intergenerational transfers, borrowing constraints, and saving behavior: evidence from the housing market," Working Papers 95-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  4. Michael Svarer & Michael Rosholm & Jacob Roland Munch, 2003. "Are Home Owners Really more Unemployed?," CAM Working Papers 2003-09, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
  5. Green, Richard K. & White, Michelle J., 1997. "Measuring the Benefits of Homeowning: Effects on Children," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 441-461, May.
  6. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 2001. "Instrumental Variables and the Search for Identification: From Supply and Demand to Natural Experiments," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 69-85, Fall.
  7. Edward L. Glaeser & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2002. "The Benefits of the Home Mortgage Interest Deduction," NBER Working Papers 9284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Dietz, Robert D. & Haurin, Donald R., 2003. "The social and private micro-level consequences of homeownership," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 401-450, November.
  9. Lawrence F. Katz & Jeffrey R. Kling & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 2001. "Moving To Opportunity In Boston: Early Results Of A Randomized Mobility Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(2), pages 607-654, May.
  10. Denice DiPasquale & Edward L. Glaeser, 1997. "Incentives and Social Capital: Are Homeowners Better Citizens?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1815, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  11. Chernozhukov, Victor & Hansen, Christian, 2008. "The reduced form: A simple approach to inference with weak instruments," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 68-71, July.
  12. Aaronson, Daniel, 2000. "A Note on the Benefits of Homeownership," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 356-369, May.
  13. Coulson, N. Edward & Fisher, Lynn M., 2009. "Housing tenure and labor market impacts: The search goes on," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 252-264, May.
  14. John Harding & Thomas J. Miceli & C.F. Sirmans, 2000. "Do Owners Take Better Care of Their Housing Than Renters?," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 28(4), pages 663-681.
  15. Edward L. Glaeser & David Laibson & Bruce Sacerdote, 2002. "An Economic Approach to Social Capital," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 437-458, November.
  16. Yannis M. Ioannides, 1999. "Residential Neighborhood Effects," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 9912, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  17. Hastings, Justine S. & Kane, Thomas J. & Staiger, Douglas O. & Weinstein, Jeffrey M., 2007. "The effect of randomized school admissions on voter participation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(5-6), pages 915-937, June.
  18. Bruce Sacerdote, 2000. "Peer Effects with Random Assignment: Results for Dartmouth Roommates," NBER Working Papers 7469, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Engelhardt, Gary V, 1996. "Tax Subsidies and Household Saving: Evidence from Canada," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(4), pages 1237-68, November.
  20. Mills, Gregory & Gale, William G. & Patterson, Rhiannon & Engelhardt, Gary V. & Eriksen, Michael D. & Apostolov, Emil, 2008. "Effects of individual development accounts on asset purchases and saving behavior: Evidence from a controlled experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1509-1530, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Tuukka Saarimaa & Mika Kortelainen, 2012. "Do Homeowners Benefit the Neighborhood? Evidence from Semiparametric Hedonic Regressions," ERSA conference papers ersa12p472, European Regional Science Association.
  2. Coulson, N. Edward & Li, Herman, 2013. "Measuring the external benefits of homeownership," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 57-67.
  3. Grinstein-Weiss, Michal & Sherraden, Michael & Gale, William G. & Rohe, William & Schreiner, Mark & Key, Clinton, 2013. "Long-Term Impacts of Individual Development Accounts on Homeownership among Baseline Renters: Follow-Up Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," MPRA Paper 55058, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. W. Scott Frame & Larry D. Wall & Lawrence J. White, 2012. "The devil's in the tail: residential mortgage finance and the U.S. Treasury," Working Paper 2012-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  5. 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).
  6. Mika Kortelainen & Tuukka Saarimaa, 2012. "Do homeowners benefit urban neighborhoods? Evidence from housing prices," Working Papers 36, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
  7. Ambrose, Brent W. & Diop, Moussa, 2014. "Spillover effects of subprime mortgage originations: The effects of single-family mortgage credit expansion on the multifamily rental market," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 114-135.
  8. Arthur Grimes & Steven Stillman & Chris Young, 2011. "Homeownership, Social Capital and Parental Voice in Schooling," Working Papers 11_11, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
  9. Eriksen, Michael D., 2010. "Homeownership subsidies and the marriage decisions of low-income households," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 490-497, November.
  10. Jean-Marie Dufour & Joachim Wilde, 2013. "Weak Identification in Probit Models with Endogenous Covariates," Working Papers 95, Institute of Empirical Economic Research, revised 28 Feb 2013.

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