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On the Negative Relationship between Labor Income Uncertainty and Homeownership: Risk Aversion vs. Credit Constraints

  • Luis Diaz-Serrano


    (National University of Ireland, Maynooth, IZA Bonn, CREB Barcelona)

In this paper we test for the first time whether the driving force behind the negative effect of income uncertainty on owner-occupancy propensities is risk aversion or credit constraints. To disentangle this puzzle we estimate reduced form equations using Italian data. Consistent with the previous empirical evidence in the US, our results confirm that in Italy both labor income uncertainty and credit constraints exert a significant negative effect on the probability of homeownership. However, our main findings indicate that the negative relationship between labor income uncertainty and homeownership is driven by households’ risk aversion.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth in its series Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series with number n1460105.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:may:mayecw:n1460105
Contact details of provider: Postal: Maynooth, Co. Kildare
Phone: 353-1-7083728
Fax: 353-1-7083934
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  1. Brunello, Giorgio, 2002. "Absolute risk aversion and the returns to education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 635-640, December.
  2. Gwilym Pryce & Margaret Keoghan, 2002. "Unemployment insurance for mortgage borrowers: is it viable and does it cover those most in need?," European Journal of Housing Policy, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 2(1), pages 87-114, April.
  3. Luigi Guiso & Monica Paiella, 2008. "Risk Aversion, Wealth, and Background Risk," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(6), pages 1109-1150, December.
  4. Joop Hartog & Erik Plug & Luis Diaz Serrano & Jose Vieira, 2003. "Risk compensation in wages – a replication," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 639-647, July.
  5. Donald R. Haurin & Patric H. Hendershott & Susan M. Wachter, 1996. "Borrowing Constraints and the Tenure Choice of Young Households," NBER Working Papers 5630, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Christofides, Louis N. & Stengos, Thanasis & Swidinsky, Robert, 1997. "On the calculation of marginal effects in the bivariate probit model," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 203-208, July.
  7. Stephen L. Ross & Geoffrey M. B. Tootell, 2000. "Redlining, the Community Reinvestment Act, and Private Mortgage Insurance," Working papers 2000-04, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  8. Irina Barakova & Raphael Bostic & Paul Calem & Susan Wachter, 2003. "Does Credit Quality Matter for Homeownership?," Working Paper 8608, USC Lusk Center for Real Estate.
  9. 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.
  10. Jianakoplos, Nancy Ammon & Bernasek, Alexandra, 1998. "Are Women More Risk Averse?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(4), pages 620-30, October.
  11. Luis Diaz-Serrano & Joop Hartog & Helena Skyt Nielsen, 2008. "Compensating Wage Differentials for Schooling Risk in Denmark," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(4), pages 711-731, December.
  12. Haurin Donald R. & Hendershott Patric H. & Kim Dongwook, 1994. "Housing Decisions of American Youth," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 28-45, January.
  13. 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.
  14. Robst, John & Deitz, Richard & McGoldrick, KimMarie, 1999. "Income variability, uncertainty and housing tenure choice1," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 219-229, March.
  15. Haurin, Donald R. & Gill, H. Leroy, 1987. "Effects of income variability on the demand for owner-occupied housing," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 136-150, September.
  16. Diaz-Serrano, Luis, 2005. "Labor income uncertainty, skewness and homeownership: A panel data study for Germany and Spain," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 156-176, July.
  17. DeSalvo, Joseph S. & Eeckhoudt, Louis R., 1982. "Household behavior under income uncertainty in a monocentric urban area," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 98-111, January.
  18. Peter Linneman & Susan Wachter, 1989. "The Impacts of Borrowing Constraints on Homeownership," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 17(4), pages 389-402.
  19. 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.
  20. Fu, Yuming, 1995. "Uncertainty, liquidity, and housing choices," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 223-236, April.
  21. Hartog, Joop & Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada & Jonker, Nicole, 2002. "Linking Measured Risk Aversion to Individual Characteristics," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 3-26.
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