Norwegian version

Social Inequality and Housing over the Life Course: Good Choices or Lucky Outcomes?

The project studies the interplay between housing and other dimensions of social inequality.

Social inequalities feed directly into opportunities of families at the housing market, and how they choose their housing positions. House prices and consequently housing equity vary over time. Different choices in the housing market furthermore yield varying access to neighbourhood qualities, local public goods and social capital. Hence, social inequality does not only lead to inequalities in housing, but inequalities in housing can also over time exacerbate or mitigate other dimensions of social inequality.

These interdependencies between social inequality and housing are the overarching topic of our proposed project. Random variation, or luck, is an often understated factor contributing to the dynamics of social inequalities, and the housing market is one particular arena where luck may play a prominent role.

In order to investigate in more detail the interplay between housing and other dimensions of social inequality we formulate four work packages in which we investigate how the housing careers and other important trajectories of the life course are intertwined.

We study possible long-term effects of children of growing up in private or social renting with an emphasis on high school completion rates. Using vacancy chain models we study how choices of individual families affect opportunities for other families, both in the short and long run. Finally, we investigate how the life course of individuals subsequent to divorce or spousal loss depends on past and present housing conditions.

Theoretically, our analyses are rooted in a life course framework. The project has an empirical approach. We utilize large scale register data, taking due account of the selection and simultaneity problems inherent in the phenomena studied and the fact that shared unobservables are important determinants of outcomes.