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Homeownership and labour-market behaviour: interpreting the evidence

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  • Jan Rouwendal
  • Peter Nijkamp

Abstract

This paper attempts to explain the repeated empirical finding that homeowners have shorter unemployment durations than tenants, even though Oswald’s hypothesis predicts longer unemployment durations for homeowners. The search models that have been proposed to motivate Oswald’s thesis have difficulties in providing an explanation for the reverse of the Oswald effect. The model proposed in this paper is close to the ones proposed earlier, in that it also studies search behaviour, but contains a richer set of effects of homeownership on search behaviour. In our model, homeowners may have a higher intensity of job search (and hence shorter unemployment durations) when their housing expenses are—all other things being equal—higher than those of tenants. Some studies have indeed found that the shorter unemployment durations occur especially among highly leveraged homeowners. We show that, in the Netherlands, many homeowners have higher housing costs than otherwise comparable tenants. The model developed in this paper is therefore able to explain the existing evidence of shorter unemployment durations for Dutch homeowners.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan Rouwendal & Peter Nijkamp, 2010. "Homeownership and labour-market behaviour: interpreting the evidence," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 42(2), pages 419-433, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:42:y:2010:i:2:p:419-433
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    1. van den Berg, Gerard J & Gorter, Cees, 1997. "Job Search and Commuting Time," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 15(2), pages 269-281, April.
    2. Oswald Andrew J., 1996. "A Conjecture on the Explanation for High Unemployment in the Industrialized Nations : Part I," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 475, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    3. Rasmus Lentz & Torben Tranas, 2005. "Job Search and Savings: Wealth Effects and Duration Dependence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(3), pages 467-490, July.
    4. Mark Partridge & Dan Rickman, 1997. "The Dispersion of US State Unemployment Rates: The Role of Market and Non-market Equilibrium Factors," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(6), pages 593-606.
    5. Henley, Andrew, 1998. "Residential Mobility, Housing Equity and the Labour Market," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(447), pages 414-427, March.
    6. Raj Chetty, 2008. "Moral Hazard versus Liquidity and Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(2), pages 173-234, April.
    7. David Card & Raj Chetty & Andrea Weber, 2007. "Cash-on-Hand and Competing Models of Intertemporal Behavior: New Evidence from the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1511-1560.
    8. Munch, Jakob Roland & Rosholm, Michael & Svarer, Michael, 2008. "Home ownership, job duration, and wages," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, pages 130-145.
    9. Stephen Nickell, 1997. "Unemployment and Labor Market Rigidities: Europe versus North America," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 55-74, Summer.
    10. Raj Chetty, 2008. "Moral Hazard versus Liquidity and Optimal Unemployment Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(2), pages 173-234, April.
    11. Raj Chetty, 2008. "Moral Hazard vs. Liquidity and Optimal Unemployment Insurance," NBER Working Papers 13967, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Carole Brunet & Jean-Yves Lesueur, 2003. "Do homeowners stay unemployed longer ? A French micro-econometric study," Post-Print halshs-00178576, HAL.
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrea Morescalchi, 2016. "The Puzzle Of Job Search And Housing Tenure: A Reconciliation Of Theory And Empirical Evidence," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(2), pages 288-312, March.
    2. Gaetano Lisi, 2017. "Homeownership and entrepreneurship," Working Papers. Serie AD 2017-01, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    3. Yuval Kantor & Peter Nijkamp & Jan Rouwendal, 2013. "Homeownership, Unemployment and Commuting Distances," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-144/VIII, Tinbergen Institute.
    4. Allen Head & Huw Lloyd-Ellis, 2012. "Housing Liquidity, Mobility, and the Labour Market," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(4), pages 1559-1589.
    5. Daan Isebaert & Freddy Heylen & Carine Smolders, 2015. "Houses and/or Jobs: Ownership and the Labour Market in Belgian Districts," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(8), pages 1387-1406, August.
    6. Stijn Baert & Freddy Heylen & Daan Isebaert, 2014. "Does Homeownership Lead to Longer Unemployment Spells? The Role of Mortgage Payments," De Economist, Springer, pages 263-286.
    7. Hana M. Broulíková & Peter Huber & Josef Montag & Petr Sunega, 2018. "Homeownership, Mobility, and Unemployment. Evidence from Housing Privatisation," WIFO Working Papers 548, WIFO.
    8. Gaetano Lisi, 2016. "Mortgage Market, Housing Tenure Choice and Unemployment," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 53(4), pages 472-493, November.
    9. Andrea Morescalchi, 2016. "A new career in a new town. Job search methods and regional mobility of unemployed workers," ERSA conference papers ersa16p307, European Regional Science Association.
    10. Rodríguez Hernández, José E. & Barrios García, Javier A., 2012. "¿Incide la forma de tenencia de la vivienda habitual sobre la situación de empleo en España?/Does the Housing Tenure Choice Affect the Employment Situation in Spain?," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 30, pages 751(22)-751, Agosto.
    11. Yuval Kantor & Jan Möhlmann & Peter Nijkamp & Jan Rouwendal, 2015. "Homeownership, mortgages, and unemployment," Letters in Spatial and Resource Sciences, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 253-265, November.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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