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The effect of Widowhood on Housing and Location Choices

Author

Listed:
  • Carole Bonnet

    (INED - Institut national d'études démographiques)

  • Laurent Gobillon

    (INED - Institut national d'études démographiques, PSE - Paris School of Economics, CREST - Centre de Recherche en Économie et Statistique - ENSAI - Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Analyse de l'Information [Bruz] - X - École polytechnique - ENSAE ParisTech - École Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Économique, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris)

  • Anne Laferrère

    (CREST - Centre de Recherche en Économie et Statistique - ENSAI - Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Analyse de l'Information [Bruz] - X - École polytechnique - ENSAE ParisTech - École Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Économique, INSEE - Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques - INSEE)

Abstract

The number of elderly persons living alone is increasing and their influence on the housing market is getting larger. This paper investigates the effect of the loss of a spouse on housing and location choices. A partner's death induces a decrease in income which may lead to downsizing. Widowhood may also reveal new preferences, such as the need to be close to care givers and health services. We estimate the effect of a transition to widowhood on housing consumption and location choices using the French Housing Surveys. Widowhood significantly increases residential mobility, especially at older ages and for those who have children. Mobile widows tend to live closer to their relatives but do not move to co-reside with a child. Housing and location adjustments are consistent with new widows moving to dwellings that are smaller, more often apartments and in the rental sector, and on average located in larger municipalities where services are more accessible. The housing demand of widows will be significant in the next 20 years, especially the demand for small dwellings.

Suggested Citation

  • Carole Bonnet & Laurent Gobillon & Anne Laferrère, 2010. "The effect of Widowhood on Housing and Location Choices," Post-Print halshs-00754442, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00754442
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jhe.2010.04.003
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal-pjse.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00754442
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Viola Angelini & Anne Laferrère, 2012. "Residential Mobility of the European Elderly," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 58(3), pages 544-569, September.
    2. Zahia Ouadah-Bedidi, 2012. "Fécondité et nuptialité différentielles en Algérie : l'apport du recensement de 1998," Working Papers 185, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED).
    3. Ravi Pendakur & Nathan Young, 2013. "Putting on the moves," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 29(28), pages 767-796, October.
    4. Carlos Pestana Barros & Zhongfei Chen & Luis A. Gil-Alana, 2012. "Housing sales in urban Beijing," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(34), pages 4495-4504, December.
    5. de Jong Petra & Brouwer Aleid, 2012. "Residential Mobility of Older Adults in the Dutch Housing Market: Do Individual Characteristics and Housing Attributes Have an Effect on Mobility?," European Spatial Research and Policy, Sciendo, vol. 19(1), pages 33-47, July.
    6. Alexandra Schaffar & Michel Dimou & El Mouhoub Mouhoud, 2018. "The determinants of elderly migration in France," Post-Print hal-01874221, HAL.
    7. Cris Beauchemin & Hugues Lagrange & Mirna Safi, 2011. "Transnationalism and immigrant assimilation in France : between here and there ?," Working Papers 172, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED).

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