Incentives and Social Capital: Are Homeowners Better Citizens?

44 Pages Posted: 7 Sep 2000 Last revised: 4 Apr 2008

See all articles by Denise DiPasquale

Denise DiPasquale

City Research

Edward L. Glaeser

Harvard University - Department of Economics; Brookings Institution; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 1998

Abstract

Individuals invest in their local environments by volunteering, getting involved in local government, becoming informed about their political leaders, joining non-professional organizations and even gardening. Homeownership may encourage these investments because homeownership gives individuals an incentive to improve their community and because homeownership creates barriers to mobility. Using the U.S. General Social Survey document that homeowners are more likely to invest in social capital, and a simple instrumental variables strategy suggests that the relationship may be causal. While our results are not conclusive, we find evidence that a large portion of the effect of homeownership on these investments may come from lower mobility rates for homeowners. Using the German Socio-Economic Panel homeownership and citizenship controlling for individual fixed effects. Finally, across cities and counties, areas with more homeowners have lower government spending, but spend a larger share of their government budget on education and highways.

Suggested Citation

DiPasquale, Denise and Glaeser, Edward L., Incentives and Social Capital: Are Homeowners Better Citizens? (January 1998). NBER Working Paper No. w6363. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=226112

Denise DiPasquale (Contact Author)

City Research ( email )

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Edward L. Glaeser

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

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Brookings Institution

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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