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Home ownership as status competition: Some theory and evidence

Shang-Jin Wei, Xiaobo Zhang () and Yin Liu

Journal of Development Economics, 2017, vol. 127, issue C, 169-186

Abstract: In this paper, we explore the implications of home ownership as a status good for housing prices. More concretely, if a family's housing wealth relative to others is an important sorting variable for relative attractiveness in the marriage market, then competition for marriage partners might motivate people to pursue a bigger and more expensive house/apartment. To test the hypothesis, we explore regional variations in the sex ratio for the pre-marital age cohort across China (as a proxy for differential strength for concerns for status). We find that the evidence is consistent with the status competition hypothesis.

Keywords: G12; F4; O1; O53; Housing price; Price-rental ratio; Positional good; Excess men; Missing women (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2016.12.001

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:127:y:2017:i:c:p:169-186