Examining Housing Price Risk, Home Ownership, and Wealth

Elderly couple in front of their house

Background

A comparative analysis of the United States, England and other countries may enable researchers to assess how overall well-being is related to health, housing consumption, and other types of consumption at older ages in these countries.

Goals

The research team has several objectives. First, the project will use the opportunity of the financial crisis to estimate the effects on capital gains mostly losses of various asset and employment changes on a variety of non-health outcomes in England and the United States. These outcomes will include employment, consumption (and its major subcomponents), savings, and intended bequests.

Second, the project will extend the analysis to an important set of health outcomes. These health outcomes will include not only changes in physical health including mortality and disability, but also mental health including depression, psycho-social health, overall well-being, and life satisfaction. The impact of wealth increases during booms on physical and mental health may be small compared to their potential impact during severe busts.

The third aim will be to model and understand impacts of the relatively flat English housing consumption profiles at older ages on total consumption, total non-housing consumption, and other forms of consumption at older ages. In this analysis, we will incorporate the very distinct profiles of out-of-pocket medical expenses in the two countries.

The final aim will continue to extend this analysis to a wider array of countries. This will involve continuing the work in China and to extend the analysis to most of continental Europe.

Research Team

James P. Smith, principal investigator
David Rumpel, research programmer