Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Institute for Futures Studies

No 2009:1: The Effect of Parental Wealth on Tenure Choice. A Study of family background and young adults housing situation

Cecilia Enström Öst ()
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Cecilia Enström Öst: Institute for Futures Studies, Postal: Box 591, SE-101 31 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: The aim with this paper is to investigate whether parental wealth influences the tenure choice of young adults. Sweden as a welfare state has historically been considered as strong and with an ambitious housing policy. However, since the early 1990’s there has been a decrease in housing subsidies and a rolling back of the welfare state. These changes have been associated with rising house prices and costs which have worsened young adults’ chances on the housing market. Such problems may increase the importance of parental wealth. Data from three birth-cohorts that entered the housing market during different periods suggest that family background has now become an important factor in describing young adults’ housing situation. Young adults with parents who are owner occupiers and whose fathers have a university degree seem to have become more likely to buy their housing. The results also indicate that growing up with a single parent – a factor that has been shown to put children at risk – now also seems to have become a constraint on choice in the housing market. The result from this three-cohort study indicates that housing opportunities of young adults may have become a matter of class affiliation.

Keywords: Housing tenure; Family background; Wealth; Young adult

JEL-codes: I30; J10

20 pages, January 2009

Price: 25 SEK

Note: ISSN: 1652-120X; ISBN:978-91-85619-40-5

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