Home-Ownership and Family Formation

Clara H. Mulder, University of Amsterdam

Family formation and home-ownership are closely connected to each other in Western countries. From most research on the transition to home-ownership, one gets the impression that the connection between family formation and home-ownership is positive: Family formation seems to speed up the process of acquiring home-ownership in several countries. However, it has also been argued that there might be a negative association between home-ownership and family formation at the individual or household level, because the cost of home-ownership might compete with the cost of rearing children. And it has also been found that those countries in Europe with the highest levels of home-ownership are also those with the lowest fertility. The aim of this paper is to reconcile these seemingly contradicting findings on the association between home-ownership and family formation by developing a theoretical argumentation comprising both the micro level of individuals and households and the macro level of countries.

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Presented in Session 29: The Social and Demographic Effects of Housing