Housing policies, labour force participation and economic growth

How might a range of housing policy mechanisms be implemented to support labour force participation and increase economic growth?

This AHURI Inquiry developed coherent conceptual frameworks and empirical evidence to guide housing policy reforms that promote Australia’s economic development. It shed light on whether some of the causal mechanisms linking housing and economic growth are significant in Australia, including employment participation, mobility, housing supply and wealth effects.

The final report and the five supporting research projects for this Inquiry are now complete.

You can download the completed final report.

You can view details of the supporting research projects and download the completed reports below.

  • Mary Cavar, Assistant Commissioner, Productivity Commission
  • Marilyn Chilvers, Executive Director, Analysis and Research, Department of Family and Community Services, NSW
  • Michael Fusarelli, Department of Family and Community Services, NSW
  • Shane Garrett, Senior Economist, Housing Industry Association Limited
  • Michael Lennon, Managing Director, Housing Choices Australia
  • Paul McBride, Department of Social Services, Australian Government
  • Marty Robinson, Principal Adviser, Social Policy Division, Treasury, Australian Government
  • Iain Scott, Department of Social Services, Australian Government
A new look at the channels from housing to employment decisions

This study investigated the role housing assistance (e.g. rent assistance or social housing), housing wealth and home ownership mortgages have on individuals’ incentive to work or on other employment decisions. The study also explores whether intergenerational wealth transfers (as bequests or parental cash transfers), which are typically financed (directly or indirectly) through housing wealth, lower work effort and participation in skills and training programs.

Led by: Melek Cigdem
Project status: Complete, download the report

Housing, multi-level governance and economic productivity

This supporting project will improve understanding of the links between Australian housing policy and economic productivity, at multiple scales and demonstrated through key exemplar cases. It will allow policy-makers to better understand how housing policy at multiple policy levels can be harnessed for improved economic productivity at various geographical scales.

Led by: Jago Dodson
Project status: Complete, download the report

Housing tenure, mobility and labour market behaviour

This supporting project will explore the role of housing on the efficient functioning of the labour market for unemployed and under-employed individuals and households. The HILDA dataset is used to examine how housing tenure, through potential impediments to labour mobility, may influence job search, wages and job quality following re-employment.

Led by: Stephen Whelan
Project status: Complete, download the report

House prices, household debt and household consumption

This supporting project extends previous AHURI-funded research on the effects of housing wealth on consumption by comparing effects pre- and post-GFC. It offers insights into the potential implications of the impact of high household debt on household consumption, and hence on financial and economic stability.

Led by: Kadir Atalay
Project status: Complete, download the report

Housing responsiveness in Australia: distribution, drivers and institutional settings

This supporting project will estimate and map the price elasticity of housing supply at a local government area level. It will provide insights into how various factors, including planning regulations and the housing industry’s organisation and structure, affect the speed of housing supply responsiveness to market pressures in Australia.

Led by: Rachel Ong
Project status: Complete, download the report