December 1, 2000

The effects of home-ownership on labour mobility in the Netherlands: Oswald's theses revisited

Eigen-woningbezitters veranderen minder vaak van baan, en worden ook minder vaak werkloos

Press release
Aan de aankoop van een woning zijn verschillende transactiekosten verbonden, met name die van overdrachtsbelasting. Deze transactiekosten kunnen een belemmering vormen om te verhuizen, en ook ten koste gaan van de bereidheid van werknemers om van baan te veranderen.

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Dick Morks

These are: I) Home-owners are less likely to move than renters, II) Unemployed home-owners are less likely to move than unemployed renters, III) Owners of houses are less likely to move to another job, because they are not willing to leave the  region and IV) Owners of houses are more likely to become unemployed. Using individual data of a panel of labour market and housing market histories for the period 1989-1998, we estimate a hazard rate model, that explain transitions on these markets. We find evidence for the Oswald theory in two cases: employed home-owners are less likely to move than renters are, and employed home-owners are less likely to change jobs than renters are. However, from these results alone we cannot conclude that employed workers that own a house have worse labour market positions than renters. Instead, their commitment to jobs makes them less vulnerable for unemployment. Also, Oswald's theory does not seem to hold for unemployed workers or nonparticipants. Instead, unemployed home-owners are even more inclined to move than renters.


Michiel van Leuvensteijn
Pierre Koning

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