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On The User Cost And Homeownership

  • Antonia Diaz
  • Maria J. Luengo-Prado

    ()

This paper studies the determinants of housing tenure choice and the differences in the cost of housing services across households in an overlapping generations model with household-specific uninsurable earnings risk and housing prices that vary over time. We model houses as illiquid assets that provide collateral for loans. To analyze the impact of preferential housing taxation on the tenure choice, we consider a tax system that mimics that of the U.S. economy in a stylized way. We find that a mixture of idiosyncratic earnings uncertainty, house price risk, down payments and transaction costs are needed for the model to deliver life cycle patterns of homeownership and portfolio composition similar to those found in the data. Through simulations, we also show that a rental equivalence approach (relative to a user cost approach) overestimates the mean unit cost of housing by approximately 3 percent.

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Paper provided by Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía in its series Economics Working Papers with number we065421.

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Date of creation: Apr 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cte:werepe:we065421
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  1. Antonia Díaz & Maria Jose Luengo-Prado, 2006. "The Wealth Distribution With Durable Goods," Economics Working Papers we067027, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  2. Roberto G. Quercia & George W. McCarthy & Susan M. Wachter, . "The Impacts of Affordable Lending Efforts on Home Ownership Rates," Zell/Lurie Center Working Papers 304, Wharton School Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center, University of Pennsylvania.
  3. 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.
  4. Storesletten, Kjetil & Telmer, Christopher I. & Yaron, Amir, 2004. "Consumption and risk sharing over the life cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 609-633, April.
  5. Edward C. Prescott, 2003. "Why do Americans work so much more than Europeans?," Staff Report 321, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  6. Charles Himmelberg & Christopher Mayer & Todd Sinai, 2005. "Assessing High House Prices: Bubbles, Fundamentals and Misperceptions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 67-92, Fall.
  7. Todd Sinai & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2003. "Owner-Occupied Housing as a Hedge Against Rent Risk," NBER Working Papers 9462, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Asea, Patrick & Mendoza, Enrique G & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 1996. "On the Ineffectiveness of Tax Policy in Altering Long- Run Growth: Harberger's Superneutrality Conjecture," CEPR Discussion Papers 1378, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Joao F. Cocco, 2005. "Consumption and Portfolio Choice over the Life Cycle," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 18(2), pages 491-533.
  10. Joao F. Cocco, 2005. "Portfolio Choice in the Presence of Housing," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 18(2), pages 535-567.
  11. Matthew Chambers & Carlos Garriga & Don E. Schlagenhauf, 2007. "Accounting for changes in the homeownership rate," Working Paper 2007-21, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  12. Hansen, G D, 1993. "The Cyclical and Secular Behaviour of the Labour Input: Comparing Efficiency Units and Hours Worked," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(1), pages 71-80, Jan.-Marc.
  13. Campbell, John & Cocco, Joao, 2003. "Household Risk Management and Optimal Mortgage Choice," Scholarly Articles 3157876, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  14. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Jonathan A. Parker, 1999. "Consumption Over the Life Cycle," NBER Working Papers 7271, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Ortalo-Magne, Francois & Rady, Sven, 1999. "Boom in, bust out: Young households and the housing price cycle," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 755-766, April.
  16. Jonathan Skinner, 1990. "The Dynamic Efficiency Cost of Not taxing Housing," NBER Working Papers 3454, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Joseph Gruber & Robert Martin, 2003. "Precautionary savings and the wealth distribution with illiquid durables," International Finance Discussion Papers 773, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  18. James M. Poterba, 1983. "Tax Subsidies to Owner-occupied Housing: An Asset Market Approach," Working papers 339, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  19. Bajari, Patrick & Benkard, C. Lanier & Krainer, John, 2004. "House Prices and Consumer Welfare," Research Papers 1840, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  20. Ortalo-Magne, Francois & Rady, Sven, 2002. "Tenure choice and the riskiness of non-housing consumption," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 266-279, September.
  21. Louise Sheiner & David N. Weil, 1992. "The Housing Wealth of the Aged," NBER Working Papers 4115, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. 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.
  23. Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde & Dirk Krueger, 2002. "Consumption over the Life Cycle: Facts from Consumer Expenditure Survey Data," NBER Working Papers 9382, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Gervais, Martin, 2002. "Housing taxation and capital accumulation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(7), pages 1461-1489, October.
  25. Carroll, Christopher D, 1997. "Buffer-Stock Saving and the Life Cycle/Permanent Income Hypothesis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 1-55, February.
  26. Gahvari, Firouz, 1984. "Incidence and efficiency aspects of differential taxation of residential and industrial capital in a growing economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 211-233, November.
  27. Alicia H. Munnell & Mauricio Soto, 2006. "What Replacement Rates Do Households Actually Experience In Retirement?," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2005-10, Center for Retirement Research.
  28. William Goetzmann & Matthew Spiegel, 2000. "The Policy Implications of Portfolio Choice in Underserved Mortgage Markets," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm161, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Mar 2001.
  29. Linneman, Peter & Megbolugbe, Isaac F. & Wachter, Susan M. & Cho, Man, 1997. "Do Borrowing Constraints Change U.S. Homeownership Rates?," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 318-333, December.
  30. Henderson, J Vernon & Ioannides, Yannis M, 1983. "A Model of Housing Tenure Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 98-113, March.
  31. Wenli Li & Rui Yao, 2007. "The Life-Cycle Effects of House Price Changes," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(6), pages 1375-1409, 09.
  32. Edward C. Prescott, 1997. "On defining real consumption," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 47-53.
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