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The Role of Housing Markets in the Timing of Marriage in Egypt, Jordan, and Tunisia

Ragui Assaad (), Caroline Krafft and Dominique Rolando

No 1081, Working Papers from Economic Research Forum

Abstract: The transition to adulthood in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is increasingly characterized by young people’s desire to form independent, nuclear households. Forming such households requires either buying or building a dwelling or obtaining a rental unit. Policies governing housing markets, such as rent control, and limited financing options have historically made access to housing for young couples particularly challenging. In this paper, we examine housing markets in Egypt, Jordan, and Tunisia and their impact on the timing of marriage. A particular focus of the paper is how housing policy reforms, such as the liberalization of rental markets in Egypt, have affected the timing of marriage. We find that Egypt’s rental reforms accelerated marriages and led to a reversal in the trend of rising age at marriage. Jordan’s healthy rental market has also likely facilitated marriage, while the sharply rising age at marriage in Tunisia may be due to an inadequate supply of rental housing.

New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ara
Date: 2017-10-04, Revised 2017-10-04
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Published by The Economic Research Forum (ERF)

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