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American dream or American obsession? The economic benefits and costs of homeownership

Author

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  • Wenli Li
  • Fang Yang

Abstract

Homeownership, like baseball and hotdogs, is an integral part of the American culture. Over the past 70 years, the U.S. government has devoted significant public resources to encouraging and promoting homeownership. The recent financial crisis has prompted the government to spend even more on preserving homeownership, despite the fact that the financial crisis itself was led by the meltdown of the U.S. housing market. Now, an increasing number of academicians and media reporters are questioning the previously unquestionable: Has the American dream turned into an American obsession? In “American Dream or American Obsession? The Economic Benefits and Costs of Homeownership,” Wenli Li and Fang Yang analyze the economic benefits and costs associated with owning one’s residence. They re-examine a variety of rationales that have been put forward in support of homeownership and examine the evidence for an economic cost associated with homeownership.

Suggested Citation

  • Wenli Li & Fang Yang, 2010. "American dream or American obsession? The economic benefits and costs of homeownership," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Q3, pages 20-30.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpbr:y:2010:i:q3:p:20-30
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    File URL: http://www.philadelphiafed.org/research-and-data/publications/business-review/2010/q3/brq310_benefits-and-costs-of-homeownership.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ferreira, Fernando & Gyourko, Joseph & Tracy, Joseph, 2010. "Housing busts and household mobility," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 34-45, July.
    2. Gervais, Martin, 2002. "Housing taxation and capital accumulation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(7), pages 1461-1489, October.
    3. Genesove, David & Mayer, Christopher J, 1997. "Equity and Time to Sale in the Real Estate Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 255-269, June.
    4. Satyajit Chatterjee, 1996. "Taxes, homeownership, and the allocation of residential real estate risks," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Sep, pages 3-10.
    5. William Goetzmann & Matthew Spiegel, 2000. "The Policy Implications of Portfolio Choice in Underserved Mortgage Markets," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm161, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Mar 2001.
    6. Donald R. Haurin & Susan M. Wachter & Patric H. Hendershott, 1995. "Wealth Accumulation and Housing Choices of Young Households: An Exploratory Investigation," NBER Working Papers 5070, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Quigley, John M, 1987. "Interest Rate Variations, Mortgage Prepayments and Household Mobility," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(4), pages 636-643, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Eileen Diaz McConnell & Ilana Redstone Akresh, 2013. "Home Equity of New Legal Immigrants in the United States: An Evaluation of Three Key Theoretical Perspectives," International Migration Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 686-729, September.
    2. Nakamura, Leonard I., 2014. "Brewing bubbles: how mortgage practices intensify housing booms," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue 1, pages 16-24.
    3. Wenli Li & Susheela Patwari, 2012. "The economics of household leveraging and deleveraging," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Q3, pages 9-17.
    4. Makoto Nakajima, 2011. "Understanding house-price dynamics," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Q2, pages 20-28.
    5. SIERMINSKA Eva & ROSSI Cristina, 2016. "Housing Decisions, Family Types and Gender. A cross-national perspective," LISER Working Paper Series 2016-10, LISER.
    6. Mariacristina Rossi & Eva Sierminska, 2015. "Housing Decisions, Family Types and Gender. A look across LIS countries," LIS Working papers 654, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    7. Elul, Ronel, 2015. "The government-sponsored enterprises: past and future," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Q1, pages 11-20.
    8. Mariacristina Rossi & Eva Sierminska, 2015. "Housing Decisions, Family Types and Gender: A Look across LIS Countries," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 815, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).

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    Keywords

    Home ownership;

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