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Residential Mobility of the European Elderly


  • Viola Angelini
  • Anne Laferrère


With the ageing of the European population, the housing choices of the large elderly cohorts will have consequences on the whole housing market. This article combines micro data from two waves of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) with macro data on housing policy to analyse the residential mobility decisions of the elderly in 11 European countries. Residential mobility is low, but we find some evidence that those who move in old age tend to reduce housing consumption and investment by going from owning to renting. This 'downsizing' is positively linked to housing capital gains, while the existence of reverse mortgages in a country reduces it. We also find that mobility to nursing homes and mobility between private homes respond to different incentives and motivations. (JEL codes: D10, R21, R28). Copyright The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Ifo Institute for Economic Research, Munich. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email:, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Viola Angelini & Anne Laferrère, 2012. "Residential Mobility of the European Elderly," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 58(3), pages 544-569, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cesifo:v:58:y:2012:i:3:p:544-569

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Axel Borsch-Supan & Vassilis Hajivassiliou & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1992. "Health, Children, and Elderly Living Arrangements: A Multiperiod-Multinomial Probit Model with Unobserved Heterogeneity and Autocorrelated Errors," NBER Chapters,in: Topics in the Economics of Aging, pages 79-108 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Maria Chiuri & Tullio Jappelli, 2010. "Do the elderly reduce housing equity? An international comparison," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(2), pages 643-663, March.
    3. Thierry Debrand & Claude Taffin, 2005. "Les facteurs structurels et conjoncturels de la mobilité résidentielle depuis 20 ans," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 381(1), pages 125-146.
    4. James Banks & Richard Blundell & Zoë Oldfield & James P. Smith, 2010. "Housing Price Volatility and Downsizing in Later Life," NBER Chapters,in: Research Findings in the Economics of Aging, pages 337-379 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Bonnet, Carole & Gobillon, Laurent & Laferrère, Anne, 2010. "The effect of widowhood on housing and location choices," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 94-108, June.
    6. Tatsiramos, Konstantinos, 2006. "Residential Mobility and Housing Adjustment of Older Households in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 2435, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Boehm, Thomas P. & Schlottmann, Alan, 2006. "A comparison of household mobility for owned manufactured, traditional owned, and rental units using the American Housing Survey," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 126-142, June.
    8. Joëlle Gaymu & Peter Ekamper & Gijs Beets, 2007. "Qui prendra en charge les Européens âgés dépendants en 2030 ?," Population (french edition), Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED), vol. 62(4), pages 789-822.
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    Cited by:

    1. D. Isebaert, 2013. "Housing Tenure and Geographical Mobility in Belgium," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 13/855, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand
    • R28 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Government Policy


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