The American Dream or the American Delusion? The Private and External Benefits of Homeownership for Women
44 Pages Posted: 3 Jul 2011
Date Written: April 1, 2011
This paper uses a unique data set with housing consumption, well-being measures and time use patterns to explore the implications of homeownership. After controlling for income, housing quality and health, female homeowners are not better off than renters by a variety of measures, both global and situational. Instead, they derive significantly more pain from their house and home – comparable to the unadjusted increase from a doubling in home value. Differences in financial security, health, self-esteem, perceived control, stress level cannot account for the well-being results. One potential mechanism is time use differences: female homeowners tend to spend less time on enjoyable activities, such as active leisure.
Keywords: Housing consumption, Homeownership, Well-being, Happiness
JEL Classification: R21, L85
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation