IZA DP No. 1397: Rooms of One’s Own: Gender, Race and Home Ownership as Wealth Accumulation in the United States
Do income disparities between men and women translate into longer term wealth disparities? We use the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) to investigate gender and race disparities in home ownership, value, and equity. These investigations reveal that the gap in housing outcomes is much more pronounced for the probability of home ownership than for home value or home equity. Once households have entered the housing market, differences across gender, race and family type are much smaller and sometimes turn in favor of households that are usually considered to be disadvantaged. Family type is associated with differences that are larger than those based solely on gender and are as large as those associated solely with race. The predicted probability of home ownership ranges from 0.83 for male householders in married couple households to 0.49 for male householders in non-family households. African Americans are consistently predicted to have lower home value, but less consistently predicted to have less equity than whites. We find that race gaps in homeownership, typically attributed to differences in family type (such as prevalence of female headed households in the African American population), are significantly and sizably present within gendered family types.