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Does Owning Your Home Make You Happier? Impact Evidence from Latin America

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  • Inder Ruprah

    () (Inter-American Development Bank, Washington, DC, USA)

Abstract

In this paper we present evidence that homeowners are happier than nonhomeowners and it is homeownership that causes the difference in happiness. The data used is for seventeen Latin American countries obtained from the LatinBarometer surveys. The association between homeownership and happiness is measured by an ordered logit regression with a comprehensive set of sociodemographic control variable with errors clustered at year and country. Happiness and ownership are positively and statistically significantly related. Causality is determined through nonparametric impact measure via the propensity score matching technique. Homeownership causes increased happiness. The impact result is robust to the problem of hidden bias. The impact conclusion also holds in a meta-impact approach where impacts are calculated for each country separately. Owning your home makes you happier, at least in Latin America.

Suggested Citation

  • Inder Ruprah, 2010. "Does Owning Your Home Make You Happier? Impact Evidence from Latin America," OVE Working Papers 0210, Inter-American Development Bank, Office of Evaluation and Oversight (OVE).
  • Handle: RePEc:idb:ovewps:0210
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Richard K. Crump & V. Joseph Hotz & Guido W. Imbens & Oscar A. Mitnik, 2009. "Dealing with limited overlap in estimation of average treatment effects," Biometrika, Biometrika Trust, vol. 96(1), pages 187-199.
    2. 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.
    3. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2002. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 402-435, June.
    4. Marco Caliendo & Sabine Kopeinig, 2008. "Some Practical Guidance For The Implementation Of Propensity Score Matching," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(1), pages 31-72, February.
    5. van Praag, B. M. S. & Frijters, P. & Ferrer-i-Carbonell, A., 2003. "The anatomy of subjective well-being," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 29-49, May.
    6. Guido W. Imbens, 2004. "Nonparametric Estimation of Average Treatment Effects Under Exogeneity: A Review," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 4-29, February.
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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Latin American home owners are happier, unlike US ones
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2011-03-02 21:44:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Tim Tiefenbach & Florian Kohlbacher, 2015. "Happiness in Japan in Times of Upheaval: Empirical Evidence from the National Survey on Lifestyle Preferences," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 333-366, April.
    2. Inter American Development Bank, 2012. "Room for Development: Housing Markets in Latin America and the Caribbean: Summary," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 447, March.
    3. Ehsan Latif, 2016. "Happiness and Comparison Income: Evidence from Canada," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 128(1), pages 161-177, August.
    4. Honghao Ren & Henk Folmer & Arno J. Van der Vlist, 2018. "The Impact of Home Ownership on Life Satisfaction in Urban China: A Propensity Score Matching Analysis," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 397-422, February.
    5. Cheng, Zhiming & King, Stephen P. & Smyth, Russell & Wang, Haining, 2016. "Housing property rights and subjective wellbeing in urban China," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 45(S), pages 160-174.
    6. Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), 2012. "Room for Development: Housing Markets in Latin America and the Caribbean: Summary," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 79942, February.
    7. Odermatt, Reto & Stutzer, Alois, 2020. "Does the Dream of Home Ownership Rest upon Biased Beliefs? A Test Based on Predicted and Realized Life Satisfaction," IZA Discussion Papers 13510, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Ehsan Latif, 2021. "Homeownership and happiness: evidence from Canad," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 21(1), pages 1-17.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Home Ownership; Happiness;

    JEL classification:

    • R30 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - General
    • I00 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General - - - General

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