Accumulation and Reproduction of Inequalities through the Housing System. The Role of Employment Instability and Intergenerational Transmission in Transition to Homeownership, Italy 1989-2016

Davide Gritti , University of Trento

This paper attempts to explain the recent deterioration in access to homeownership for young cohorts in Italy by jointly considering labour market conditions and parental wealth transmission processes. A longitudinal analysis is conducted over a long-run observational window, covering three decades of representative survey data on Italian households. In particular, changes in accumulation of unfavored job conditions, such as low-wage and fixed-contract employment, are tested as mediator of the decreasing likelihood to get homeownership for young people. This is set alongside an empirical investigation of processes of intergenerational transmission of wealth aimed to housing independence. Relying on 14 self-harmonized waves of the half-panel SHIW (Survey of Household Income and Wealth 1989-2016 – Bank of Italy), 2 longitudinal analytical samples of 12,985 independent individuals and 7,402 households are built. Methods applied are random-effects (RE) probit models, conditional fixed-effects logit models (FE) and distributed fixed-effects logit models (distributed FE). Evidence is that: a) accumulation of risks in the labour market substantively impedes access to homeownership; b) wealth decumulation is an increasing strategy to bolster housing independence; c) housing-rich families preserve wealth and dissipating families do not. All in all, housing system is found to work as a device of recursive reproduction of inequalities.

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 Presented in Session P2. Poster Session Ageing, Health and Mortality