Houses and/or Jobs: Ownership and the Labour Market in Belgian Districts
AbstractIn a number of papers A.J. Oswald (1996, 1997) argues that high rates of home ownership may imply inferior labour market outcomes. This paper tests the Oswald hypothesis in a panel of 42 Belgian districts since the 1970s. The use of data going back to 1970 allows us to embed the Oswald hypothesis in a broader model including other key determinants of employment like labour costs and productivity, the skill level of the population, and demography. Considering that ownership may be endogenous to (shocks in) employment, we use IV estimation methods. Overall, we find evidence in favour of the Oswald hypothesis. We observe that a 1 percentage point rise in the rate of home ownership in a district implies a statistically significant fall in the employment rate by about 0.3 percentage points. Our results underscore the importance of including other determinants of employment, of controlling for unobserved fixed regional and time effects, and of appropriately dealing with endogeneity. Disregarding these issues, as is often done in the macro labour literature, may imply very different estimation results. Additional estimation reveals that the size of the Oswald effect falls in the fraction of high skilled in a district.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3371.
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
employment; home ownership; Oswald hypothesis; Belgian regions; panel data;
Other versions of this item:
- D. Isebaert & F. Heylen & C. Smolders, 2010. "Houses and/or jobs: ownership and the labour market in Belgian districts," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 10/695, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
- E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution
- J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
- J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
- R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
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