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The Impact on Residential Choice of the Family Home Exemption in Resource-Tested Transfer Programs


  • John Piggott

    () (ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research, Australian School of Business, University of New South Wales)

  • Renuka Sane

    () (Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research)


Many countries have policies offering transfers or other entitlements, subject to a resources test. In most cases, these exempt the family home. While the impacts of means-tested programs on saving and labor supply have been extensively studied, exempting the owner-occupier home has escaped analytic attention. We assess the exemption of the owner-occupied home from the Australian age-pension on residential mobility and housing trade-downs. Results suggest that this provision discourages trade-down behaviour.

Suggested Citation

  • John Piggott & Renuka Sane, 2011. "The Impact on Residential Choice of the Family Home Exemption in Resource-Tested Transfer Programs," Working Papers 201112, ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR), Australian School of Business, University of New South Wales.
  • Handle: RePEc:asb:wpaper:201112

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hubbard, R Glenn & Skinner, Jonathan & Zeldes, Stephen P, 1995. "Precautionary Saving and Social Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(2), pages 360-399, April.
    2. Neumark, David & Powers, Elizabeth, 2000. "Welfare for the elderly: the effects of SSI on pre-retirement labor supply," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1-2), pages 51-80, October.
    3. Jonathan Gruber & Aaron Yelowitz, 1999. "Public Health Insurance and Private Savings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(6), pages 1249-1274, December.
    4. Neumark, David & Powers, Elizabeth, 1998. "The effect of means-tested income support for the elderly on pre-retirement saving: evidence from the SSI program in the U.S," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 181-206, May.
    5. James Sefton & Justin vandeVen & Martin Weale, 2008. "Means Testing Retirement Benefits: fostering equity or discouraging savings?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(528), pages 556-590, April.
    6. Cho, Sang-Wook (Stanley) & Sane, Renuka, 2013. "Means-Tested Age Pensions And Homeownership: Is There A Link?," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(06), pages 1281-1310, September.
    7. Powers, Elizabeth T., 1998. "Does means-testing welfare discourage saving? evidence from a change in AFDC policy in the United States," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 33-53, April.
    8. repec:nsr:niesrd:283 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Ermisch, John F. & Jenkins, Stephen P., 1999. "Retirement and housing adjustment in later life: evidence from the British Household Panel Survey," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 311-333, June.
    10. Bruce Bradbury, 2008. "Housing wealth as retirement saving: Does the Australian Model Lead to Over-Consumption of Housing?," LWS Working papers 7, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
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    More about this item


    Elderly mobility; housing; residential transition; means-testing;

    JEL classification:

    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • R2 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis


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