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On the user cost and homeownership

  • Díaz, Antonia
  • Luengo Prado, Maria José

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 de Madrid. Departamento de Economía in its series UC3M Working papers. Economics with number we065421.

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Date of creation: Apr 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cte:werepe:we065421
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  1. 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.
  2. Antonia Díaz & María José Luengo-Prado, 2010. "The Wealth Distribution With Durable Goods," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 51(1), pages 143-170, 02.
  3. 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.
  4. Sven Rady, 1998. "Boom In, Bust Out: Young Households and the Housing Price Cycle," FMG Discussion Papers dp310, Financial Markets Group.
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  10. Storesletten, Kjetil & Telmer, Chris & Yaron, Amir, 2002. "Consumption and Risk Sharing Over the Life Cycle," Seminar Papers 702, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  11. 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.
  12. Edward L. Glaeser & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2002. "The Benefits of the Home Mortgage Interest Deduction," NBER Working Papers 9284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Hansen, G.D., 1991. "The Cyclical and Secular Behavior of the Labor Input : Comparing Efficiency Units and Hours Worked," Papers 36, California Los Angeles - Applied Econometrics.
  14. Jesus Fernández-Villaverde & Dirk Krueger, 2007. "Consumption over the Life Cycle: Facts from Consumer Expenditure Survey Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(3), pages 552-565, August.
  15. Matthew Chambers & Carlos Garriga & Don E. Schlagenhauf, 2009. "Accounting For Changes In The Homeownership Rate," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(3), pages 677-726, 08.
  16. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Jonathan A. Parker, 2002. "Consumption Over the Life Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(1), pages 47-89, January.
  17. 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.
  18. Louise Sheiner & David N. Weil, 1992. "The Housing Wealth of the Aged," NBER Working Papers 4115, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Joseph W. Gruber & Robert F. 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.).
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. Edward C. Prescott, 1997. "On defining real consumption," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 47-53.
  24. Mendoza, Enrique G. & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria & Asea, Patrick, 1997. "On the ineffectiveness of tax policy in altering long-run growth: Harberger's superneutrality conjecture," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 99-126, October.
  25. Patrick Bajari & C. Lanier Benkard & John Krainer, 2003. "House Prices and Consumer Welfare," NBER Working Papers 9783, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Quercia, Roberto G. & McCarthy, George W. & Wachter, Susan M., 2003. "The impacts of affordable lending efforts on homeownership rates," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 29-59, March.
  27. Jonathan Skinner, 1990. "The Dynamic Efficiency Cost of Not taxing Housing," NBER Working Papers 3454, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. James M. Poterba, 1984. "Tax Subsidies to Owner-Occupied Housing: An Asset-Market Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 99(4), pages 729-752.
  33. Martin Gervais, 1998. "Housing Taxation and Capital Accumulation," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9807, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
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