The impact of homeownership on marriage and divorce: Evidence from propensity score matching
Center for Social Development, George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University, One Brookings Drive, Campus Box 1196, St. Louis, MO 63130, Zimbabwe; Center for Community Capital, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, United States; School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago, United States
This research examined the relationship between homeownership and the likelihood of marriage or divorce. Drawing on exchange theory and an economic understanding of marriage, the authors hypothesized that single homeowners are less likely to marry than single renters, whereas married homeowners are less likely to divorce than married renters. These hypotheses were tested using longitudinal data collected from a group of lower income homeowners and a comparison group of renters. Propensity score models were used to account for selection bias. Results indicate that single homeowners are, in fact, less likely to marry than their renting counterparts, whereas married homeowners are less likely to divorce than married renters. These findings suggest that assets, such as a home, can play a significant role in the likelihood of both marriage and divorce. © 2014 National Association of Social Workers.