NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Negative Equity Does Not Reduce Homeowners' Mobility

Sam Schulhofer-Wohl

NBER Working Paper No. 16701
Issued in January 2011
NBER Program(s):   EFG   PE

Some commentators have argued that the housing crisis may harm labor markets because homeowners who owe more than their homes are worth are less likely to move to places that have productive job opportunities. I show that, in the available data, negative equity does not make homeowners less mobile. In fact, homeowners who have negative equity are slightly more likely to move than homeowners who have positive equity. Ferreira, Gyourko and Tracy's (2010) contrasting result that negative equity reduces mobility arises because they systematically drop some negative-equity homeowners' moves from the data.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w16701

Published: Sam Schulhofer-Wohl, 2012. "Negative equity does not reduce homeowners’ mobility," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. citation courtesy of

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