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Leaving home in the Netherlands: Timing and first housing

CLARA H. MULDER and PIETER HOOIMEIJER
Journal of Housing and the Built Environment
Vol. 17, No. 3, Living arrangements and housing arrangements (2002), pp. 237-268
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41107221
Page Count: 32
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Leaving home in the Netherlands: Timing and first housing
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Abstract

Successive birth cohorts have left the parental home at an accelerating pace in the early post-war decades in the Netherlands. A second trend, starting later but lasting longer, is that people increasingly leave the parental home to live alone. Both trends have had implications for the housing market as they contributed to the continuation of the housing shortage and generated a shift in the type of accommodation in which young adults start their housing career: an independent rented dwelling, shared accommodation, or home-ownership. In this contribution we set out to unravel both the causes of the changing pattern of home-leaving between successive cohorts and the relation with the housing market entry in successive periods. The main hypothesis is that educational expansion was a major cause of the shift in the mix of motives between cohorts, accounted for the accelerating pace of home-leaving, and also affected the type of housing market entry. The empirical results support this hypothesis but also show that the educational expansion does not provide a full explanation for either phenomenon. Union formation in particular is invariably also determined by the employment status of the male partner. Leaving home to live alone, on the other hand, is less sensitive to the individual income but is clearly stimulated by ample parental resources. In housing choice, the opportunity structure provides an extra explanation. The wider access to independent rental accommodation, for instance, reduces the pent-up demand for shared accommodation that results from the educational expansion.

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