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What is Disrupting Homeownership? An Analysis of the Impact of Student Loan Debt on Homeownership

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dc.contributor.advisor Lambie-Hanson, Timothy Schwarze, Michael Francis 2019-04-07T01:13:23Z 2019-04-07T01:13:23Z 2018
dc.description.abstract Homeownership is a proxy for the American Dream; the tangible manifestation of tireless efforts to obtain this dream (Beracha and Johnson, 2012; Rohe, Zandt, McCarthy, 2001). Despite robust support from the government and citizens, homeownership has been steadily declining over the past decade, starting from an all-time high of 69.0% in 2004, reaching a low of 62.9% of occupants who own their home in 2016 (U.S. Census Bureau). While this is, in part, due to the 2008 financial crisis, other confounding factors may play a role. In particular, total outstanding student loan debt has been rapidly rising from $300 million in 2002 to over $1.54 trillion as of May 2018. Researchers have found conflicting results when analyzing the impact of student loan debt on homeownership (Houle and Berger, 2015; Gicheva and Thompson, 2015; Mezze et al., 2016). This thesis primarily adds to the existing literature by using an updated NLSY97 dataset to further analyze the YAST-25, YAST-30 and YAST-35 cohorts. Furthermore, I strengthen the existing analysis by adding macroeconomic, regulatory reform, and more sociodemographic controls. Lastly, I use a unique instrumental variable method that has not been applied to this dataset. My primary finding was a small, negative impact of student loan debt on homeownership for cohorts 25 and 30. For the 35-year-old cohort, I find a small, positive impact. While these findings are in agreement with Houle and Berger (2015), these effects are not strong enough to judge student loan debt as a major impediment to the homeownership rate. It is important for future research to analyze this relationship with administrative datasets and different empirical methods.
dc.description.sponsorship Haverford College. Department of Economics
dc.language.iso eng
dc.title What is Disrupting Homeownership? An Analysis of the Impact of Student Loan Debt on Homeownership
dc.type Thesis
dc.rights.access Bi-College users only

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