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The Effect of Widowhood on Housing and Location Choices

  • Carole Bonnet

    (Crest)

  • Laurent Gobillon

    (Crest)

  • Anne Laferrere

    (Crest)

The number of widows has been increasing with population ageing and their influenceon the housing market is getting larger. This paper investigates the effect of widowhoodon housing and location choices. A partner's death induces a decrease in incomewhich may lead to downsizing. Widowhood may also reveal new preferences, such asthe need to be close to care givers and health services. We estimate the effect of atransition to widowhood on housing consumption and location choices using the FrenchHousing Surveys. Widowhood significantly increases residential mobility, especially atolder ages and when having children. Mobile recent widows tend to live closer to theirrelatives but do not move to co-reside with a child. Housing and location adjustmentsare consistent with new widows moving to dwellings that are smaller, more oftenapartments and in the rental sector, and on average located in larger cities whereservices are more accessible.

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Paper provided by Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique in its series Working Papers with number 2008-12.

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Length: 41
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:crs:wpaper:2008-12
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