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Wealth Effects or Economic Barometer: Why Do House Prices Matter for Psychological Health?

  • Anita Ratcliffe

    ()

    (Department of Economics, The University of Sheffield)

This paper investigates whether house prices are linked to mental health outcomes, and whether this association arises through wealth effects or whether third factors such as area amenities or economic conditions drive both house prices and psychological health. These alternative explanations have contrasting implications for the effect of house prices on the well-being of homeowners and non-homeowners, which are exploited in the empirical analysis. I document a positive association between house prices and the mental health of homeowners and non-homeowners, which is not consistent with wealth effects. Further analysis indicates that house prices matter via a role as an economic barometer.

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File URL: http://www.shef.ac.uk/economics/research/serps/articles/2012_014.html
File Function: First version, 2012
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Paper provided by The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2012014.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:shf:wpaper:2012014
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  1. Martin Farnham & Purvi Sevak, 2007. "Housing Wealth and Retirement Timing," Working Papers wp172, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  2. Knies, Gundi & Burgess, Simon & Propper, Carol, 2007. "Keeping up with the Schmidts: an empirical test of relative deprivation theory in the neighbourhood context," ISER Working Paper Series 2007-19, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  3. Iacoviello, Matteo, 2004. "Consumption, House Prices and Collateral Constraints: A Structural Econometric Analysis," 2004 Meeting Papers 207b, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  10. Blanchflower, D., 1989. "Fear, Unemployment And Pay Flexibility," Papers 344, London School of Economics - Centre for Labour Economics.
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  12. Robert J. MacCulloch & Rafael Di Tella & Andrew J. Oswald, 2001. "Preferences over Inflation and Unemployment: Evidence from Surveys of Happiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 335-341, March.
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  14. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2004. "Well-being over time in Britain and the USA," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1359-1386, July.
  15. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2002. "How important is Methodology for the Estimates of the Determinants of Happiness?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-024/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  16. Orazio Attanasio & Laura Blow & Robert Hamilton & Andrew Leicester, 2005. "Booms and busts: consumption, house prices and expectations," IFS Working Papers W05/24, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  17. Robert Wassmer & Edward Lascher & Stephan Kroll, 2009. "Sub-national Fiscal Activity as a Determinant of Individual Happiness: Ideology Matters," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 10(5), pages 563-582, October.
  18. Sarah Brown & Karl Taylor & Robert McNabb, 2006. "Financial Expectations, Consumption and Saving: A Microeconomic Analysis," Working Papers 2006006, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics, revised May 2006.
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