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Economic effects of upfront subsidies to ownership: The case of the Prêt à Taux Zéro in France

  • Gobillon, Laurent
  • le Blanc, David

This article analyses some effects of the French upfront subsidy to homeownership called Prêt à Taux Zéro (PTZ) introduced in 1996. The PTZ can be viewed as a downpayment subsidy to low and middle-income first-time buyers. The effects of the subsidy are modelled by simulating the introduction of the PTZ in an econometric model of mobility and tenure choice estimated on micro-data. Our results show that the PTZ significantly increases access to ownership by allowing some households to leave the rental sector sooner. However, the PTZ generates a large windfall effect. We estimate that 85% of the beneficiaries in a 4-year period would still have moved to own in the absence of the subsidy. As a consequence, the PTZ has a rather low multiplier effect, which we estimate at around 1.3. Our simulations also show that the PTZ may not help to improve the overall quality of new construction in France.

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

Volume (Year): 17 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 1-33

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhouse:v:17:y:2008:i:1:p:1-33
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622881

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  1. David le Blanc & Christine Lagarenne, 2004. "Owner-Occupied Housing and the Composition of the Household Portfolio: The Case of France," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 29(3), pages 259-275, November.
  2. Nicole Tabard, 1993. "Des quartiers pauvres aux banlieues aisées : une représentation sociale du territoire," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 270(1), pages 5-22.
  3. 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.
  4. Linneman, Peter & Megbolugbe, Isaac F. & Wachter, Susan M. & Cho, Man, 1997. "Do Borrowing Constraints Change U.S. Homeownership Rates?," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 318-333, December.
  5. M Arellano & Costas Megir & Mary Silles, 1990. "Female Labour Supply and On-the-Job Search: An Empirical Model Estimated using Complementary Data Sets," CEP Discussion Papers dp0009, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  6. Richard Arnott & James G. MacKinnon, 1976. "Measuring the Costs of Height Restrictions with a General Equilibrium Model," Working Papers 242, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  7. Marjorie Flavin & Takashi Yamashita, 2002. "Owner-Occupied Housing and the Composition of the Household Portfolio," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 345-362, March.
  8. William C. LaFayette & Donald R. Haurin & Patric H. Hendershott, 1995. "Endogenous Mortgage Choice, Borrowing Constraints and the Tenure Decision," NBER Working Papers 5074, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Henderson, J Vernon & Ionnides, Yannis M, 1986. "Tenure Choice and the Demand for Housing," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 53(210), pages 231-46, May.
  10. Henderson, J Vernon & Ioannides, Yannis M, 1983. "A Model of Housing Tenure Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 98-113, March.
  11. Duca, John V. & Rosenthal, Stuart S., 1994. "Borrowing constraints and access to owner-occupied housing," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 301-322, June.
  12. Peter M. Zorn, 1989. "Mobility-Tenure Decisions and Financial Credit: Do Mortgage Qualification Requirements Constrain Homeownership?," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 17(1), pages 1-16.
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