DP11656 | Identifying the Benefits from Home Ownership: A Swedish Experiment

Publication Date

11/23/2016

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Abstract

This paper studies the economic benefits of home ownership. Exploiting a quasi-experiment surrounding privatization decisions of municipally-owned apartment buildings, we obtain random variation in home ownership for otherwise similar buildings with similar tenants. We link the tenants to their tax records to obtain information on demographics, income, mobility patterns, housing wealth, financial wealth, and debt. These data allow us to construct high-quality measures of consumption expenditures. Home ownership causes households to move up the housing ladder, work harder, and save more. Consumption increases out of housing wealth are concentrated among the home owners who sell subsequent to privatization and among those who receive negative income shocks, evidencing a collateral effect.