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House prices and health in Europe

date Date: November 1, 2015
date Author(s): Benedicte Apouey, Isabelle Chort
date Affiliation: Paris School of Economics-Universite Paris-Dauphine

This study exploits recent variations in regional house prices across Europe to shed light on the impact of wealth shocks of health. We are able to distinguish between objective and subjective/perceived house price shocks. We assess the effect of these shocks on a number of health outcomes, including general, mental, and physical health, as well as health-related behaviours. Using individual-level data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement merged with objective regional-level house prices for five European countries, we find a positive relationship between objective house prices and mental health on the one hand, and subjective prices and physical health on the other hand. In contrast, we find that objective house prices are neither correlated with general health nor with physical health or healthrelated behaviours. Interestingly, subjective house prices do not have any impact on mental well-being either. 

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