Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The puzzle of job search and housing tenure. A reconciliation of theory and empirical evidence

Morescalchi, Andrea (2014): The puzzle of job search and housing tenure. A reconciliation of theory and empirical evidence.

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Abstract

Oswald's thesis posits that workers who own their own home should have longer unemployment spells due to restricted mobility, but repeatedly the reverse is found. We contribute to shed light on this puzzle in two key ways. First, we show that the thesis holds when stated in terms of search intensity instead of unemployment. In a job search model with moving costs we show that unemployed homeowners search less than renters. We confirm this result empirically using UK LFS data. Second, we provide evidence that homeowners select search methods associated with shorter unemployment spells, suggesting that they search more effciently.

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