IZA DP No. 5115: Right to Buy… Time to Move? Investigating the Effect of the Right to Buy on Moving Behaviour in the UK
published in: Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, 2013, 28 (1), 129-146
One of the goals of the Right to Buy (RTB) was to stimulate labour migration by removing the debilitating effect of social housing on geographical mobility. This is the first study to examine rigorously whether the Right to Buy legislation did indeed 'free-up' those in social housing who bought their homes. Using longitudinal data from the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) and panel regression models we show that the probability of a RTB-owner making a long distance move falls between that of social renters and owner occupiers. However, the difference between RTB-owners and neither homeowners nor social renters is significant. Social renters are significantly less likely to move over long distances than traditional owners. The results also suggest that RTB-owners are less likely than traditional owners to move for job related reasons, but more likely than social renters.