Life Cycles and Gender in Residential Mobility Decisions

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Using household survey data from the recent economically depressed period, we attempt to identify typical household characteristics by residential type and study whether households change their residence at different stages of life. We find that the general trend in residential choice is influenced by socioeconomic background. The results of a multinomial probit estimation highlight that the probability of homeownership is higher in rural areas and increases with age of household heads, financial wealth, and family size. In contrast, the probability of renting a house is higher in urban areas and among female households. Moreover, it is observed that people adjust residential size despite market imperfections. The dwelling size increases with age of household heads and declines once they reach retirement age; however, the residential mobility is low at older ages. Furthermore, there are gender differences in terms of attitudes toward downsizing residences; female households are more willing to accept downsizing than are male households.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)370-401
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Real Estate Finance and Economics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Apr


  • Bayesian approach
  • Difference-in-differences
  • Dwelling size
  • Homeownership
  • Japan
  • Life cycle
  • Lost decades
  • Multinomial probit method


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