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Housing Tenure, Housing Wealth and Subjective Wellbeing in Australia: The Case of Unemployment

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Wealth(s) and Subjective Well-Being

Part of the book series: Social Indicators Research Series ((SINS,volume 76))


Like in many other western countries, the Australian welfare state is under pressure. The growing reliance on private insurance by means of accumulated wealth leads to a more prominent role for housing tenure and housing wealth, which is the most important source of wealth for most Australian households. The literature shows that unemployment leads to direct income losses and increased feelings of insecurity. Homeownership – as a stable basis for the private self, − and family and housing wealth – as a possible income-maintenance source, – have the potential to reinforce feelings of security and to supplement income. We research this issue with the Australian HILDA panel, waves 1–14 (2001–2015) and use panel fixed-effects analysis. Through following persons over time and researching their changes in subjective wellbeing when experiencing or not experiencing unemployment we can see whether housing tenure and housing wealth provide a potential buffer. We find that the negative effect of unemployment on subjective wellbeing is stronger for tenants than for homeowners. We do not find consistent effects for housing wealth as a buffer mitigating the negative life event of unemployment.

This research was supported by the European Research Council, HOWCOME, Grant Agreement No. 283615. Principle Investigator: Caroline Dewilde.

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Correspondence to Stéfanie André .

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André, S., Dewilde, C., Muffels, R. (2019). Housing Tenure, Housing Wealth and Subjective Wellbeing in Australia: The Case of Unemployment. In: Brulé, G., Suter, C. (eds) Wealth(s) and Subjective Well-Being. Social Indicators Research Series, vol 76. Springer, Cham.

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  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-05534-9

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