The impact of wife's employment on the acquisition of home ownership and the accumulation of home equity

Danes, Sharon
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The data for this study come from a longitudinal survey, the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. The subsample used in this study includes husband-wife families that remained intact and had the same household head from 1979 to 1983. Four models are tested. If the wife's average hourly earnings are high, there is a high probability that the family will own a house, have high home equity levels, and have a large increase in home equity levels between 1979 and 1983. The family's stage of the life cycle is a strong indicator of whether a family changes from nonowner to owner status;Whites have higher equity levels than nonwhites. The Western region of the country has higher levels of equity and the North Central region has lower levels of equity than the Northeastern region. There is a significant difference in equity levels and in the change in equity between cities of 500,000 or more compared to those with populations of less than 500,000. As families acquire more income, they invest more of it into their home. When the wife is relatively old and has a high level of education, the probability is high that the family will have high levels of home equity.

Family environment