Does Owning Your Home Make You Happier?: Impact Evidence from Latin America

May 2010
In this working paper, the authors present evidence that homeowners are happier than non-homeowners and it is homeownership that causes the difference in happiness. The data used is from seventeen Latin American countries obtained from the LatinBarometer surveys. The association between homeownership and happiness is measured by an ordered logit regression with a comprehensive set of socio-demographic control variable with errors clustered at year and country. Happiness and ownership are positively and statistically significantly related. Causality is determined through nonparametric impact measure via the propensity score matching technique. Homeownership causes increased happiness. The impact result is robust to the problem of hidden bias. The impact conclusion also holds in a meta-impact approach where impacts are calculated for each country separately. Owning your home makes you happier, at least in Latin America.