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Language, Agglomeration, and Hispanic Homeownership

Donald Haurin () and Stuart Rosenthal ()

No 07-04, Working Papers from Ohio State University, Department of Economics

Abstract: As of the fourth quarter of 2005, 76 percent of white non-Hispanic families owned homes, but only 50 percent of Hispanic families. We argue that low rates of homeownership in Hispanic communities create a self-reinforcing mechanism that contributes to this large disparity. In part, this occurs because proximity to other homeowners belonging to a family’s social network improves access to information about how to become a homeowner. Role model effects may also be relevant. We investigate these issues using household-level data on out-of-state movers from the 2000 Decennial Census. Three especially important results are obtained. First, proximity to Hispanic homeowners in the 1995 place of residence increases the propensity of a Hispanic family to own a home in 2000. Second, that effect is especially strong with respect to proximity to weak English speaking Hispanic homeowners. Third, these patterns hold regardless of the Hispanic family’s own ability to speak English. From a policy perspective, these results suggest that local programs designed to promote homeownership among weak English-speaking Hispanic families likely increase Hispanic homeownership beyond just the immediate program participants.

Keywords: Language; Agglomeration; Homeownership (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: R11 R12 R21 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 41 pages
Date: 2007-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-geo and nep-ure
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Journal Article: Language, Agglomeration and Hispanic Homeownership (2009) Downloads
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