Housing is a major component of aggregate demand, and understanding how the demand for housing co-varies with income is useful for analysis and policy. While estimating housing consumption for tenants amounts to observing rents, estimating housing consumption for owner-occupiers is challenging because it is not directly observable and interest payments vary with re-paid principals. In order to examine the housing consumption for owner-occupiers, this article combines micro data sets on income and imputed rents for owner-occupiers based on home attributes from a consumer expenditure survey and monthly rents in a rental survey. This allows estimation of an Engel curve of owner-occupied consumption, both parametrically and non-parametrically. Regression results demonstrate that the income share of owner-occupied housing consumption decreases with income, while the Engel elasticity computed at the mean is 0.32 and increasing in income.

Røed Larsen, Erling. 2014. “The Engel curve of owner-occupied housing consumption.” Journal of Applied Economics, 17(2):325-352

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