NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Twentieth-Century Increase in U.S. Home Ownership: Facts and Hypotheses

Daniel K. Fetter

Chapter in NBER book Housing and Mortgage Markets in Historical Perspective (2014), Eugene N. White, Kenneth Snowden, and Price Fishback, editors (p. 329 - 350)
Conference held September 23-24, 2011
Published in July 2014 by University of Chicago Press
© 2014 by the National Bureau of Economic Research

Home ownership rose dramatically in the United States during the mid-20th century. This chapter discusses what is known about the causes of this increase and highlights areas needing more research. Past work has investigated factors such as rising real incomes, individuals leaving home at younger ages, favorable tax treatment for those who owned their own houses, and the rise of the modern mortgage finance system. No single explanation fully accounts for the rise in homeownership on its own, but several of these explanations appear to be quantitatively important, and the chapter discusses ways in which they are interrelated. Also discussed are a number of other contributing factors, such as the expansion of suburban neighborhoods associated with the construction of highways and the exodus of white families from city centers.

download in pdf format
   (292 K)

email paper

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Users who downloaded this chapter also downloaded* these:
Chambers, Garriga, and Schlagenhauf Did Housing Policies Cause the Postwar Boom in Home Ownership?
Snowden, White, and Fishback Introduction to "Housing and Mortgage Markets in Historical Perspective"
Fetter w17166 How Do Mortgage Subsidies Affect Home Ownership? Evidence from the Mid-century GI Bills
Snowden A Historiography of Early NBER Housing and Mortgage Research
Klaman The Postwar Pattern of Mortgage Interest Rates
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us