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Giulia Dotti Sani (Collegio Carlo Alberto)

3 March 2016 @ 14:00


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3 March 2016
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“Two hearts and a loan? Employment insecurity, income and mortgage access among young couples in six European countries”


Homeownership is increasingly being understood by policy makers and social scientists as a fundamental asset against poverty risks, especially in times of economic uncertainty. Yet, in several Western countries, access to homeownership among younger generations appears to have become increasingly difficult. This article uses multinomial logistic models and three waves of nationally representative EU-SILC data (2010, 2011 and 2012) from six European countries to examine a) to what extent precarious employment among young couples is linked to mortgage access; b) whether income can compensate for employment instability in obtaining a mortgage and c) cross-national differences in the relationship between income, employment insecurity and mortgage access. Preliminary results indicate that, in all countries, the chances of having a mortgage decrease as the employment security of the couple decreases. Moreover, we find that at a given level of employment insecurity, households with higher levels of income have higher chances of having a mortgage than lower income households. However, while income has a stronger effect in achieving a mortgage among couples who have stable employment in Italy and Germany, it is more important for the outcome among couples with unstable employment in France, the United Kingdom, Spain and Poland. These results suggest that the relationship between social inequalities and housing is strongly mediated by the national context.