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Home and Mortgage Ownership of the Dutch Elderly: Explaining Cohort, Time and Age Effects

By Anna van der Schors, Rob J.M. Alessie and Mauro Mastrogiacomo


The relationship between home ownership of Dutch elderly households and age is strongly negative. Other studies suggest that this age gradient should be attributed to a cohort effect. In this paper we investigate where those cohort effects come from. We also observe that mortgage ownership among elderly home-owners increased considerably during the nineties. Using panel data we estimate models explaining home and mortgage ownership by age, cohort, and time effects, as well as other factors. Cohort and time effects are modelled explicitly using macro economic and housing market related variables. We find that the level of GDP per capita when the household head was young is the main factor explaining generation effects in home ownership among the elderly. After accounting for cohort effects it also appears that home ownership decreases slightly with age. Mortgage ownership among elderly home owners rose considerably during the nineties due to house price increases and due to financial innovation in the mortgage market. Cohort effects are also important. A supplementary analysis suggests that those cohort effects are due to the fact that the accidental bequest motive is becoming less important.home ownership, mortgages, cohort effects

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