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Homeownership and Commutes


  • Jan Rouwendal


  • Peter Nijkamp



According to Oswald's hypothesis homeowners experience more problems in finding a new job after becoming unemployed because their moving costs are higher than those of renters. Empirical research has revealed that this effect is counteracted by the job search behavior of unemployed homeowners: they accept a job on the local labor market, that is, a job that does not force them to move to a different residential location, more frequently than unemployed renters. One possible explanation of this result is that the local labor market is larger for homeowners than for renters, in the sense that they are willing to accept longer commutes. This suggests that the longer commutes of homeowners (a well known empirical fact) are partly caused by higher moving costs. In this paper we analyze the validity of this explanation by investigating the relationship between homeownership and commutes while controlling for other variables, and possible effects of selection and heterogeneity.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan Rouwendal & Peter Nijkamp, 2011. "Homeownership and Commutes," ERSA conference papers ersa10p1623, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa10p1623

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. van den Berg, Gerard J & Gorter, Cees, 1997. "Job Search and Commuting Time," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 15(2), pages 269-281, April.
    2. Rasmus Lentz & Torben Tranas, 2005. "Job Search and Savings: Wealth Effects and Duration Dependence," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(3), pages 467-490, July.
    3. David Card & Raj Chetty & Andrea Weber, 2007. "Cash-on-Hand and Competing Models of Intertemporal Behavior: New Evidence from the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1511-1560.
    4. Stephen Nickell, 1997. "Unemployment and Labor Market Rigidities: Europe versus North America," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 55-74, Summer.
    5. 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.
    6. Mark Partridge & Dan Rickman, 1997. "The Dispersion of US State Unemployment Rates: The Role of Market and Non-market Equilibrium Factors," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(6), pages 593-606.
    7. Henley, Andrew, 1998. "Residential Mobility, Housing Equity and the Labour Market," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(447), pages 414-427, March.
    8. Raj Chetty, 2008. "Moral Hazard vs. Liquidity and Optimal Unemployment Insurance," NBER Working Papers 13967, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Nickell, Stephen, 1998. "Unemployment: Questions and Some Answers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 802-816, May.
    10. Raj Chetty, 2004. "Consumption Commitments, Unemployment Durations, and Local Risk Aversion," NBER Working Papers 10211, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Carole Brunet & Jean-Yves Lesueur, 2003. "Do homeowners stay unemployed longer ? A French micro-econometric study," Post-Print halshs-00178576, HAL.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Study: Higher levels of homeownership can kill jobs
      by Brad Plumer in Ezra Klein's Wonkblog on 2013-05-07 21:11:16


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    Cited by:

    1. Jan Rouwendal, 2009. "Housing Wealth and Household Portfolios in an Ageing Society," De Economist, Springer, vol. 157(1), pages 1-48, March.

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