Correcting Second Home Equity in HRS/AHEAD: the Issues, a Method, and Preliminary Results
Second home equity is an important component of both housing equity and net worth for the old population. It has been covered, implicitly or explicitly, across all waves of HRS and AHEAD surveys. But due to a skip-pattern error, not all households with second homes were asked detailed questions about current market value, amount of mortgage, etc... The negative impact of the inconsistent treatment of second home on the estimation of housing equity and net worth is substantial. When the second home information is not collected for all the households who own second homes (as in AHEAD 1995 and HRS 1996), the second home equity measure based on the partial data is likely to suffer from selection bias, rendering vulnerable both measures of total housing equity and total net worth. This paper reports on an imputation method to correct for this bias that we demonstrate and find effective.
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