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Why has home ownership fallen among the young?

  • Jonas D. M. Fisher

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Martin Gervais

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Tippie College of Business, University of Iowa)

We document that home ownership of households with 'heads' aged 25-44 years fell substantially between 1980 and 2000 and recovered only partially during the 2001-2005 housing boom. The 1980-2000 decline in young home ownership occurred as improvements in mortgage opportunities made it easier to purchase a home. This paper uses an equilibrium life-cycle model calibrated to micro and macro evidence to understand why young home ownership fell over a period when it became easier to own a home. Our findings indicate that a trend toward marrying later and the increase in household earnings risk that occurred after 1980 account for 3/5 to 4/5 of the decline in young home ownership.

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Paper provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its series IFS Working Papers with number W09/08.

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Date of creation: Mar 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:09/08
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