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Legalization and Immigrant Homeownership: Evidence from Spain


  • Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes


  • Kusum Mundra



A significant homeownership gap still remains between natives and immigrants in most countries. Because of the many advantages of homeownership for immigrants and for the communities where immigrants reside, a variety of countries have tried to implement policies that facilitate immigrant homeownership. Many of these policies hinge on immigrants’ legal status. Yet, owing to data limitations, we still know very little about its impact on immigrant homeownership. We address this gap in the literature and find that legalization raises immigrant homeownership by 20 percentage-points even after accounting for a wide range of individual and family characteristics known to impact housing ownership. This finding underscores the importance of legal status in immigrant assimilation –housing being an important indicator of immigrant adaptation, and the need for further explorations of the impact of amnesties on the housing markets of immigrant-receiving economies.

Suggested Citation

  • Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Kusum Mundra, 2010. "Legalization and Immigrant Homeownership: Evidence from Spain," Working Papers Rutgers University, Newark 2010-005, Department of Economics, Rutgers University, Newark.
  • Handle: RePEc:run:wpaper:2010-005

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gyourko, Joseph & Linneman, Peter, 1996. "Analysis of the Changing Influences on Traditional Households' Ownership Patterns," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 318-341, May.
    2. Ihlanfeldt, Keith Ray, 1981. "An empirical investigation of alternative approaches to estimating the equilibrium demand for housing," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 97-105, January.
    3. Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Duca, John V. & Gabriel, Stuart A., 1991. "Credit rationing and the demand for owner-occupied housing," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 48-63, July.
    4. Painter, Gary & Gabriel, Stuart & Myers, Dowell, 2001. "Race, Immigrant Status, and Housing Tenure Choice," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 150-167, January.
    5. Dean Yang, 2006. "Why Do Migrants Return to Poor Countries? Evidence From Philippine Migrants%u2019 Responses to Exchange Rate Shocks," NBER Working Papers 12396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item


    Immigration; Housing; Legal Status; Spain;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • R0 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General

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