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Naturalization and the transition to homeownership: an analysis of signalling in the Dutch housing market

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This article pioneers in investigating a citizenship premium for homeownership of first-generation immigrants, using Dutch register data from Statistics Netherlands (N ¼ 106,187). I hypothesize that naturalization favourably influences the risk-calculation of lenders through positive signalling among employed migrants, who are likely to meet the basic financial criteria for credit. Results confirm that, all else constant, employed immigrants who have naturalized are 26% more likely to be homeowner. Additional analyses specifically designed to isolate endogeneity bias show that the effect is smaller, but still reveal an increase in the probability of homeownership after naturalization. Citizenship acquisition matters less for migrants with a native-born partner, suggesting that legal status discrimination may be an underlying mechanism. I find no evidence that the relevance of citizenship is conditioned by cultural distance of the origin country or the post-2008 economic crisis. I conclude that naturalization matters in the housing market, but that its relevance cannot be generalized to all migrant groups.

    Research areas

  • Citizenship, Immigration, Homeownership, The Netherlands, WELFARE, immigration, PRICE, homeownership, WEALTH, the Netherlands, CITIZENSHIP, INCOME, IMMIGRANT NATURALIZATION, DYNAMICS, RACIAL-DISCRIMINATION, REFUGEES, HOME-OWNERSHIP
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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages30
JournalHousing Studies
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Aug 2019