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The Mortgage Interest Deduction and its Impact on Homeownership Decisions

  • Christian A. L. Hilber
  • Tracy M. Turner

This paper examines the impact of the combined U.S. state and federal mortgage interest deduction (MID) on homeownership attainment, using data from 1984 to 2007 and exploiting variation in the subsidy across states, over time and due to inter-state moves. We test whether capitalization of the MID into house prices offsets the positive effect on homeownership. We find that the MID only boosts homeownership attainment of higher income households in less tightly regulated housing markets. In more restrictive places - typically larger coastal cities - an adverse effect exists. The MID is an ineffective policy to promote homeownership and improve social welfare.

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Paper provided by Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE in its series SERC Discussion Papers with number 0055.

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Date of creation: Sep 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cep:sercdp:0055
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  9. Christian A. L. Hilber & Wouter Vermeulen, 2012. "The Impact of Supply Constraints on House Prices in England," SERC Discussion Papers 0119, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
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  19. Denise DiPasquale & Edward L. Glaeser, 1998. "Incentives and Social Capital: Are Homeowners Better Citizens?," NBER Working Papers 6363, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Saks, Raven E., 2008. "Job creation and housing construction: Constraints on metropolitan area employment growth," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 178-195, July.
  21. Hilber, Christian A.L. & Mayer, Christopher, 2009. "Why do households without children support local public schools? Linking house price capitalization to school spending," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 74-90, January.
  22. Tracy M. Turner, 2003. "Does Investment Risk Affect the Housing Decisions of Families?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(4), pages 675-691, October.
  23. James Poterba & Todd Sinai, 2008. "Tax Expenditures for Owner-Occupied Housing: Deductions for Property Taxes and Mortgage Interest and the Exclusion of Imputed Rental Income," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 84-89, May.
  24. Green, Richard K. & Vandell, Kerry D., 1999. "Giving households credit: How changes in the U.S. tax code could promote homeownership," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 419-444, July.
  25. Christian A. L. Hilber, 2010. "New Housing Supply and the Dilution of Social Capital," SERC Discussion Papers 0042, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
  26. Edward L. Glaeser & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2003. "The Benefits of the Home Mortgage Interest Deduction," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 17, pages 37-82 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Martin Gervais & Manish Pandey, 2005. "Who Cares about Mortgage Interest Deductibility?," University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute Working Papers 20059, University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute.
  28. Todd Sinai & Joseph Gyourko, 2004. "The (Un)changing Geographical Distribution of Housing Tax Benefits: 1980 to 2000," NBER Working Papers 10322, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Hoff, Karla & Sen, Arijit, 2004. "Homeownership, community interactions, and segregation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3316, The World Bank.
  30. Christopher Mayer, 2011. "Housing Bubbles: A Survey," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 3(1), pages 559-577, 09.
  31. Christian A. L. Hilber & Christopher J. Mayer, 2004. "Why Do Households Without Children Support Local Public Schools?," NBER Working Papers 10804, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. Edward L. Glaeser & Joshua D. Gottlieb & Joseph Gyourko, 2012. "Can Cheap Credit Explain the Housing Boom?," NBER Chapters, in: Housing and the Financial Crisis, pages 301-359 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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