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Publication Date

April 2010


Kim R. Manturuk, Mark R. Lindblad, Roberto G. Quercia


Ford Foundation

This paper tests whether there is a relationship between homeownership and the degree to which people feel they have a sense of control in their lives.

We hypothesize that homeownership can provide people with a sense of security and stability which translates to greater confidence handling problems. We test whether homeowners report feeling a greater sense of control in their lives than renters, controlling for differences in assets.

Using propensity score analysis to account for selection bias, results show that homeownership increases sense of control, but the effect is small. Other factors that increase sense of control include having savings and being able to access money in an emergency.

However, even when accounting for financial hardships and available economic resources, the homeownership effect remains robust. We discuss this finding in light of current policy debates on the costs and benefits of promoting homeownership following the 2006 housing market downturn.

Topics(s): Affordable Homeownership, Default, Bankruptcy, & Foreclosure, Impacts of Homeownership, Mortgage Finance