House Price Growth When Kids are Teenagers: A Path to Higher Intergenerational Achievement?

Working Paper 11-6
by Daniel Cooper and María José Luengo-Prado
2011 Series

This paper examines whether rising house prices immediately prior to children entering their college years impacts their intergenerational earnings mobility and/or educational outcomes. Higher house prices provide homeowners, especially liquidity constrained ones, with additional funding to invest in their children's human capital. The results show that a 1 percentage point increase in house prices, when children are 17-years-old, results in roughly 0.8 percent higher annual income for the children of homeowners, and 1.2 percent lower annual income for the children of renters. Additional analysis shows that the children who benefit the most from rising house prices are those whose parents are liquidity constrained homeowners. Rising house prices also make homeowners' children more likely to graduate from college and have less noncollateralized debt when young adults. Both of these results are consistent with rising house prices enabling parents to invest more in their children.

JEL Classifications: E21, I22, I24

Keywords: intergenerational mobility, house prices, educational attainment

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