Homeownership and Entrepreneurship: The Role of Mortgage Debt and Commitment

44 Pages Posted: 6 Nov 2014

See all articles by Philippe Bracke

Philippe Bracke

Bank of England - Structural Economic Analysis Division; London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Christian A. L. Hilber

London School of Economics (LSE) - Department of Geography and Environment; London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP); Spatial Economics Research Centre (SERC)

Olmo Silva

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Geography and Environment; London School of Economics (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Date Written: October 24, 2014

Abstract

We study the link between homeownership, mortgage debt, and entrepreneurship using a model of occupational choice and housing tenure where homeowners commit to mortgage payments. Our model predicts that, as long as mortgage rates exceed the rate of interest on liquid wealth: (i) mortgage debt, by amplifying risk aversion, diminishes the likelihood that homeowners start a business; and (ii) the negative relation between mortgage debt and entrepreneurship is more pronounced when income volatility is higher. Our model further predicts that the relation between housing wealth and entrepreneurship is ambiguously signed because of competing portfolio and hedging considerations. Exploiting the longitudinal dimension of the British Household Panel Survey to control for unobservables, we test and confirm these predictions. A one standard deviation increase in leverage makes a homeowner 10-12 percent less likely to become an entrepreneur.

Keywords: entrepreneurship, homeownership, mortgage debt, leverage, commitment

JEL Classification: L260, D140, G110, R210

Suggested Citation

Bracke, Philippe and Hilber, Christian A. L. and Silva, Olmo, Homeownership and Entrepreneurship: The Role of Mortgage Debt and Commitment (October 24, 2014). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 5048. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2519463

Philippe Bracke

Bank of England - Structural Economic Analysis Division ( email )

Threadneedle Street
London, EC2R 8AH
United Kingdom

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Christian A. L. Hilber

London School of Economics (LSE) - Department of Geography and Environment ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Spatial Economics Research Centre (SERC) ( email )

United Kingdom

Olmo Silva (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Geography and Environment ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

London School of Economics (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 7 / 9
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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