Housing Tenure and Geographical Mobility in Belgium
Housing tenure is a key determinant of geographical mobility. We estimate several probit models to explain the probability that households move, using Belgian longitudinal PSBH and EU-SILC datasets which together cover the period 1994-2009. We confirm the general conclusion in previous literature, that homeowners are, ceteris paribus, less mobile than tenants. Within the first category, having a mortgage further hampers mobility. Earlier results for Belgium did not find a significant difference between outright owners and mortgagees. Furthermore, we make progress on the existing literature by paying particular attention to (and dealing with) methodological issues such as unobserved heterogeneity and state dependence. However, we also obtain some indications that the strict exogeneity assumption may be violated, implying that we cannot exclude the possibility of some bias in our estimated coefficients.
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