The impact of housing conditions on health outcomes
Nils Kok and
Real Estate Economics, 2021, vol. 49, issue 4, 1172-1200
We investigate the relationship between housing conditions and health outcomes using a data set that tracks 25,000 German households over 25 years. We document that individuals exposed to poor housing conditions report worse mental and physical health, and experience an 11% increase in doctor visits, increasing to 20% for age groups over 64. The analysis controls for individual, dwelling, and temporal fixed effects, and is robust to changes in socioeconomic status, lifestyle choices, and neighborhood conditions. As a robustness check, we use home renovations as major a trigger of changes in housing conditions. Restricting the analysis to tenants, whose renovations are paid by landlords, we document that home renovations significantly reduce doctor visits, corroborating the findings on home conditions and health outcomes.
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