August 9, 2007

The impact of homeownership on unemployment in the Netherlands

Eigenwoningbezitters zoeken baan vooral in eigen regio

Press release
Binnen de eigen regio vinden werkloze eigenwoningbezitters sneller een baan dan werkloze huurders, terwijl er buiten de eigen regio geen significant verschil is in baanvindkans tussen werkloze huurders en eigenwoningbezitters. Bij het huidige aantal koopwoningen in Nederland vinden eigenwoningbezitters per saldo dus sneller een baan.

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Michiel van Leuvensteijn
Dick Morks

We analyze the impact of homeownership on unemployment duration using a theoretical model of job search. Earlier studies suggest that this relationship should be positive because workers are less mobile when they own a home.

Nevertheless, most of the empirical studies in Europe find an opposite relationship. In this paper, we investigate whether this is due to an omission in the original analysis or whether it is due to an endogeneity problem, i.e. those who can leave unemployment easily are more likely to be a homeowner. In our empirical analysis, we use additional information about the differences in unemployment benefits between homeowners and renters. We find that homeowners have higher hazard rates out of unemployment to a job in the local labour market.

The impact is significant but not very large. Homeownership has a negative but insignificant impact on the hazard to leave unemployment to the non-local labour market. Finally, we find that homeowners would reduce their probability to receive a job offer from the local labour market when they become renters. The probability to receive a job offer from the non-local labour market would increase for short spells of unemployment when home owners become renters. However, this probability would be reduced for long spells of unemployment.


Aico van Vuuren
Michiel van Leuvensteijn