Legalization and Immigrant Homeownership: Evidence from Spain
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.
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