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The Effect of Homeownership on Geographic Mobility and Labor Market Outcomes

  • Hernan Winkler

    (UCLA)

This paper examines the effect of homeownership on mobility and labor income and provides new evidence that owning a home makes workers less likely to move in response to labor market shocks. To identify this effect, I develop and estimate a structural dynamic model of housing choices, migration decisions and labor market outcomes. I find that owning a home has a large negative effect on the probability of moving in response to a labor market shock and a small negative effect on labor income. Owners suffering from a decrease in home equity are 40 percent less mobile. I conduct two policy experiments. The first shows that the home mortgage deduction has a positive effect on homeownership, affects mobility and creates an incentive to buy larger houses. Second, I find that if the down payment requirement for buying a home is eliminated, homeownership exhibits a large increase, while the mobility and labor income of households experiencing negative labor market shocks decrease.

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File URL: https://www.economicdynamics.org/meetpapers/2011/paper_196.pdf
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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2011 Meeting Papers with number 196.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed011:196
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  1. Quigley, John M., 2002. "Transactions Costs and Housing Markets," Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series qt6pz8p6zt, Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy.
  2. Hanushek, Eric A & Quigley, John M, 1980. "What Is the Price Elasticity of Housing Demand?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 62(3), pages 449-54, August.
  3. Ferreira, Fernando & Gyourko, Joseph & Tracy, Joseph, 2010. "Housing busts and household mobility," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 34-45, July.
  4. Oswald Andrew J., 1996. "A Conjecture on the Explanation for High Unemployment in the Industrialized Nations : Part I," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 475, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  5. Greg Kaplan, 2010. "Moving back home: insurance against labor market risk," Working Papers 677, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  6. Nobuhiro Kiyotaki & Alexander Michaelides & Kalin Nikolov, 2011. "Winners and Losers in Housing Markets," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 43, pages 255-296, 03.
  7. Vigdor, Jacob L., 2006. "Liquidity constraints and housing prices: Theory and evidence from the VA Mortgage Program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1579-1600, September.
  8. 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.
  9. E.K. Berndt & B.H. Hall & R.E. Hall, 1974. "Estimation and Inference in Nonlinear Structural Models," NBER Chapters, in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 3, number 4, pages 653-665 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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