Housing Mobility and Downsizing at Older Ages in Britain and the USA
Version of Record online: 15 MAR 2011
© 2011 The London School of Economics and Political Science
Volume 79, Issue 313, pages 1–26, January 2012
How to Cite
BANKS, J., BLUNDELL, R., OLDFIELD, Z. and SMITH, J. P. (2012), Housing Mobility and Downsizing at Older Ages in Britain and the USA. Economica, 79: 1–26. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0335.2011.00878.x
- Issue online: 13 DEC 2011
- Version of Record online: 15 MAR 2011
- Final version received 9 September 2010.
This paper examines geographic mobility and housing downsizing at older ages in Britain and the USA. Americans downsize housing much more than the British largely because Americans are much more mobile. The principal reasons for greater mobility among older Americans are twofold: (1) greater spatial distribution of geographic distribution of amenities (such as warm weather) and housing costs; (2) greater institutional rigidities in subsidized British rental housing providing stronger incentives for British renters not to move. This relatively flat British housing consumption with age may have significant implications for the form and amount of consumption smoothing at older ages.