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On the negative relationship between labor income uncertainty and homeownership: Risk-aversion vs. credit constraints

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  • Diaz-Serrano, Luis

Abstract

Barriers to homeownership have traditionally been an important research and policy issue. In particular, the role of income volatility and credit constraints have been one of the main focuses in this concern. In this paper we test for the first time whether the underlying nature behind the negative effect of income uncertainty on the owner-occupancy propensities is driven by risk aversion, as it is assumed in most of the theoretical models, or on the contrary it is driven by credit constraints. The former question emerges from the plausible assumption that households facing higher income volatility are also expected to face borrowing constraints. To disentangle this puzzle, we use an unusually rich data coming from the Italian Survey of Household Income and Wealth carried out by the Bank of Italy. Our results confirm that in Italy both labor income uncertainty and credit constraints exert a significant negative effect on the probability of homeownership. Our main findings indicate that the negative relationship between labor income uncertainty and the owner-occupancy propensities are just driven by households’ risk aversion, while credit constraints play no role.
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  • Diaz-Serrano, Luis, 2005. "On the negative relationship between labor income uncertainty and homeownership: Risk-aversion vs. credit constraints," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 109-126, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhouse:v:14:y:2005:i:2:p:109-126
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    1. Peter Linneman & Susan Wachter, 1989. "The Impacts of Borrowing Constraints on Homeownership," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 17(4), pages 389-402.
    2. Luis Diaz-Serrano & Joop Hartog & Helena Skyt Nielsen, 2008. "Compensating Wage Differentials for Schooling Risk in Denmark," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(4), pages 711-731, December.
    3. Barakova, Irina & Bostic, Raphael W. & Calem, Paul S. & Wachter, Susan M., 2003. "Does credit quality matter for homeownership?," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 318-336, December.
    4. Diaz-Serrano, Luis, 2005. "Labor income uncertainty, skewness and homeownership: A panel data study for Germany and Spain," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 156-176, July.
    5. Luigi Guiso & Monica Paiella, 2008. "Risk Aversion, Wealth, and Background Risk," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(6), pages 1109-1150, December.
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    7. Gwilym Pryce & Margaret Keoghan, 2002. "Unemployment insurance for mortgage borrowers: is it viable and does it cover those most in need?," European Journal of Housing Policy, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 2(1), pages 87-114, April.
    8. Hartog, Joop & Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada & Jonker, Nicole, 2002. "Linking Measured Risk Aversion to Individual Characteristics," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 3-26.
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    10. Donald R. Haurin & Patric H. Hendershott & Susan M. Wachter, 1996. "Borrowing Constraints and the Tenure Choice of Young Households," NBER Working Papers 5630, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Ortalo-Magne, Francois & Rady, Sven, 2002. "Tenure choice and the riskiness of non-housing consumption," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 266-279, September.
    12. Jianakoplos, Nancy Ammon & Bernasek, Alexandra, 1998. "Are Women More Risk Averse?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(4), pages 620-630, October.
    13. Christofides, Louis N. & Stengos, Thanasis & Swidinsky, Robert, 1997. "On the calculation of marginal effects in the bivariate probit model," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 203-208, July.
    14. Joop Hartog & Erik Plug & Luis Diaz Serrano & Jose Vieira, 2003. "Risk compensation in wages – a replication," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 639-647, July.
    15. Ross, Stephen L. & Tootell, Geoffrey M. B., 2004. "Redlining, the Community Reinvestment Act, and private mortgage insurance," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 278-297, March.
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    17. Haurin Donald R. & Hendershott Patric H. & Kim Dongwook, 1994. "Housing Decisions of American Youth," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 28-45, January.
    18. DeSalvo, Joseph S. & Eeckhoudt, Louis R., 1982. "Household behavior under income uncertainty in a monocentric urban area," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 98-111, January.
    19. Haurin, Donald R. & Gill, H. Leroy, 1987. "Effects of income variability on the demand for owner-occupied housing," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 136-150, September.
    20. Fu, Yuming, 1995. "Uncertainty, liquidity, and housing choices," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 223-236, April.
    21. Brunello, Giorgio, 2002. "Absolute risk aversion and the returns to education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 635-640, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Oikarinen, Elias, 2009. "Interaction between housing prices and household borrowing: The Finnish case," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 747-756, April.
    2. Gathergood, John, 2011. "Unemployment risk, house price risk and the transition into home ownership in the United Kingdom," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 200-209, September.
    3. Oikarinen, Elias, 2008. "Interaction between Housing Prices and Household Borrowing in Finland," Discussion Papers 1145, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    4. Budría, Santiago & Diaz-Serrano, Luis & Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada & Hartog, Joop, 2009. "Risk Attitude and Wage Growth: Replication and Reconstruction," IZA Discussion Papers 4124, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Jan Rouwendal, 2009. "Housing Wealth and Household Portfolios in an Ageing Society," De Economist, Springer, vol. 157(1), pages 1-48, March.
    6. Diaz-Serrano, Luis, 2004. "Income Volatility and Residential Mortgage Delinquency: Evidence from 12 EU Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 1396, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Diaz-Serrano, Luis, 2005. "Income volatility and residential mortgage delinquency across the EU," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 153-177, September.
    8. Moriizumi, Yoko & Naoi, Michio, 2011. "Unemployment risk and the timing of homeownership in Japan," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 227-235, May.
    9. Albiol, Judit & Díaz Serrano, Lluís & Teruel, Mercedes, 2014. "Is Self-employment a Way to Escape from Skill Mismatches?," Working Papers 2072/247652, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
    10. Di Mauro, Carmela & Musumeci, Rosy, 2011. "Linking risk aversion and type of employment," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 490-495.
    11. Ortalo-Magné, François & Rady, Sven, 2008. "Heterogeneity within communities: A stochastic model with tenure choice," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 1-17, July.
    12. Díaz Serrano, Lluís, 2015. "Banks, Lies and Bricks: The Determinants of Home Value Inflation in Spain during the Housing Boom," Working Papers 2072/247804, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
    13. Albiol Sanchez, Judit & Diaz-Serrano, Luis & Teruel, Graciela, 2015. "Is Self-employment a Way to Escape from Skill Mismatches?," IZA Discussion Papers 9008, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    14. John Gathergood, "undated". "Income Uncertainty, House Price Uncertainty and the Transition Into Home Ownership in the United Kingdom," Discussion Papers 09/07, University of Nottingham, Centre for Finance, Credit and Macroeconomics (CFCM).
    15. John Gathergood & Joerg Weber, 2015. "Is Poor Financial Literacy a Barrier to Home Ownership?," Discussion Papers 2015/16, University of Nottingham, Centre for Finance, Credit and Macroeconomics (CFCM).
    16. Serena Trucchi, 2011. "How credit markets affect homeownership: an explanation based on differences between Italian regions," CeRP Working Papers 122, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
    17. Dietsch, Michel & Petey, Joël, 2015. "The credit-risk implications of home ownership promotion: The effects of public subsidies and adjustable-rate loans," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 103-120.
    18. Decreuse, Bruno & van Ypersele, Tanguy, 2011. "Housing market regulation and the social demand for job protection," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(11), pages 1397-1409.
    19. Oikarinen, Elias, 2009. "Household borrowing and metropolitan housing price dynamics - Empirical evidence from Helsinki," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 126-139, June.
    20. Santi Budria & Luis Diaz-Serrano & Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Joop Hartog, 2013. "Risk attitude and wage growth: replicating Shaw (1996)," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 981-1004, April.
    21. repec:eee:juecon:v:99:y:2017:i:c:p:62-78 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Oikarinen, Elias, 2005. "Is Housing Overvalued in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area?," Discussion Papers 992, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    23. repec:kap:jrefec:v:56:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11146-016-9595-7 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • R0 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General
    • J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General

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