Coase-Sandor Working Paper Series in Law and Economics

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Homeownership may encourage investment in local amenities and social capital, both because homeownership gives individuals an incentive to improve their community and because homeownership creates barriers to mobility. Using the U.S. General Social Survey, we document that homeowners invest more in social capital; a simple instrumental variables strategy suggests that the relationship may be causal. We also find evidence that a large portion of the effect of homeownership on these investments comes from lower mobility rates for homeowners. Using the German Socio-Economic Panel, we find a connection between homeownership and citizenship controlling for individual fixed effects.



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