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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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File URL: http://www.spatialeconomics.ac.uk/textonly/SERC/publications/download/sercdp0055.pdf
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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
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.spatialeconomics.ac.uk/SERC/publications/default.asp

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  1. John M. Quigley & Steven Raphael, 2005. "Regulation and the High Cost of Housing in California," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 323-328, May.
  2. Martin Feldstein & Gilbert Metcalf, 1986. "The Effect of Federal Tax Deductibility on State and Local Taxes and Spending," NBER Working Papers 1791, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  4. Berkovec, James & Fullerton, Don, 1992. "A General Equilibrium Model of Housing, Taxes, and Portfolio Choice," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 390-429, April.
  5. 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.
  6. Gilbert Metcalf, 2008. "Assessing the Federal Deduction for State and Local Tax Payments," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0721, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  7. Daniel Feenberg & Elisabeth Coutts, 1993. "An introduction to the TAXSIM model," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(1), pages 189-194.
  8. Shan, Hui, 2011. "The effect of capital gains taxation on home sales: Evidence from the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 177-188.
  9. Christian A. L. Hilber, . "Neighborhood Externality Risk and The Home Ownership Status of Properties," Zell/Lurie Center Working Papers 387, Wharton School Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center, University of Pennsylvania.
  10. 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.
  11. Albert Saiz, 2010. "The Geographic Determinants of Housing Supply," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(3), pages 1253-1296, August.
  12. Christopher Mayer, 2011. "Housing Bubbles: A Survey," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 3(1), pages 559-577, 09.
  13. Fischel, William A., 2001. "Homevoters, Municipal Corporate Governance, and the Benefit View of the Property Tax," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 54(n. 1), pages 157-74, March.
  14. 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.
  15. Wouter Vermeulen & Christian A.L. Hilber, 2012. "The Impact of Supply Constraints on House Prices in England," CPB Discussion Paper 219, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  16. Hilber, Christian A. L., 2007. "New Housing Supply and the Dilution of Social Capital," MPRA Paper 11620, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 14 Nov 2008.
  17. Poterba, James M, 1984. "Tax Subsidies to Owner-occupied Housing: An Asset-Market Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 99(4), pages 729-52, November.
  18. 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.
  19. repec:uwo:epuwoc:20059 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Karla Hoff & Arijit Sen, 2005. "Homeownership, Community Interactions, and Segregation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1167-1189, September.
  21. 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.
  22. Feenberg, Daniel R & Rosen, Harvey S, 1986. "The Interaction of State and Federal Tax Systems: The Impact of State and Local Tax Deductibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 126-31, May.
  23. Tracy M. Turner & Marc T. Smith, 2009. "Exits From Homeownership: The Effects Of Race, Ethnicity, And Income," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(1), pages 1-32.
  24. Martin Gervais & Manish Pandey, 2008. "Who Cares About Mortgage Interest Deductibility?," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 34(1), pages 1-24, March.
  25. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Enrico Moretti, 2003. "Can Free Entry Be Inefficient? Fixed Commissions and Social Waste in the Real Estate Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(5), pages 1076-1122, October.
  26. DiPasquale, Denise & Glaeser, Edward L., 1999. "Incentives and Social Capital: Are Homeowners Better Citizens?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 354-384, March.
  27. Edward L. Glaeser & Joshua D. Gottlieb & Joseph Gyourko, 2010. "Can Cheap Credit Explain the Housing Boom?," NBER Working Papers 16230, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. Dietz, Robert D. & Haurin, Donald R., 2003. "The social and private micro-level consequences of homeownership," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 401-450, November.
  32. Dynarski, Mark R & Sheffrin, Steven M, 1985. "Housing Purchases and Transitory Income: A Study with Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(2), pages 195-204, May.
  33. Karl E. Case & Christopher J. Mayer, 1995. "Housing Price Dynamics Within a Metropolitan Area," NBER Working Papers 5182, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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