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This paper examines the effect of French housing policy since 1973 on home ownership rates across different birth cohorts. The baby-boom generations profited most from banking reforms that gave wider access to credit and new laws favoring home ownership, in particular those of 1977. However, not all social classes and household types have benefited equally from these reforms. A widening gap has emerged between the upper and middle classes, on the one hand, and manual and clerical workers on the other; and also between couples and single mothers. At the same time, the modifications of family patterns, with the rise in divorce and separation, have led to new residential trajectories initiated by the first baby-boom generations, with a return to the rental market after a period of home ownership. This partly explains the slower increase in home ownership rates over the last two decades.


  • housing policy
  • ownership
  • generation
  • social inegality
  • family
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