Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Homeownership Hurts Job Markets

What's that again? Homeownership hurts rather than helps the job market? That's what economists David G. Blanchflower and Andrew J. Oswald discovered when analyzing state-level data on homeownership and unemployment: "High homeownership impairs the vitality of the labor market and slowly grinds out greater rates of joblessness," the authors find.

The higher the rate of homeownership, the greater a state's unemployment rate not the next year, but two to three years later. More homeownership also leads to fewer new businesses. Zoning might be one way areas of high homeownership discourage new business and suppress job growth. Another factor might be the NIMBY effect, in which homeowners fight business development, suppressing the labor market and creating future unemployment.

Source: Peterson Institute for International Economics, Does High Home-Onwership Impair the Labor Market? Working Paper 13-3, May 2013

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