Fertility and the user cost of home ownership: Evidence from regional panel data
Cross-sectional data yield the interesting result that fertility rates and home ownership rates tend to correlate positively, while time-series data suggest an inverse (or no) relationship between them. Although these associations can be explained by observed economic variables, doubt remains as to whether these links are due to the existence of omitted regional and time effects. Thus, controlling for regional-specific fixed effects and nationwide common time effects, this paper tests the link between the user cost of home ownership, which is the purchase price of housing, and total fertility rates. The empirical results, which use a panel of Japanese regional aggregate data, suggest that the impact of user costs on fertility considerably decreased when compared with the pooled OLS regression result without controlling for the above effects, but remained significantly negative. In the Japanese context, the association between the number of children and home ownership seems to be complementary.
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