The Effect of Homeownership on Geographic Mobility and Labor Market Outcomes

54 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2010 Last revised: 27 Sep 2011

Date Written: September 10, 2011


This paper examines the effect of homeownership on mobility and labor income and provides new evidence that owning a home makes workers less likely to move in response to labor market shocks. To identify this effect, I develop and estimate a structural dynamic model of housing choices, migration decisions and labor market outcomes. I find that owning a home has a large negative effect on the probability of moving in response to a labor market shock and a small negative effect on labor income. Owners suffering from a decrease in home equity are 40 percent less mobile. I conduct two policy experiments. The first shows that the home mortgage deduction has a positive effect on homeownership, affects mobility and creates an incentive to buy larger houses. Second, I find that if the down payment requirement for buying a home is eliminated, homeownership exhibits a large increase, while the mobility and labor income of households experiencing negative labor market shocks decrease.

Keywords: Homeownership, Mobility, Labor Markets, Structural Model

JEL Classification: J00, J61, R23, R21, H31

Suggested Citation

Winkler, Hernan Jorge, The Effect of Homeownership on Geographic Mobility and Labor Market Outcomes (September 10, 2011). Available at SSRN: or

Hernan Jorge Winkler (Contact Author)

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics