Asset Building Financial Inclusion Working Paper

Homeownership and Well-Being Among Blue-Collar Workers

The economic, social, and psychological vulnerability of blue-collar workers increases as the U.S. economy continues to shift from manufacturing to service and technology. This paper reports findings from an analysis of economic resources and well-being among automobile manufacturing workers. Following previous theoretical and empirical work suggesting positive homeownership effects for vulnerable populations, this analysis was designed to test relationships between homeownership and four measures of well-being while controlling for household income and education levels. Workers from two adjacent automobile manufacturing plants in a large midwestern metropolitan area were surveyed. Multivariate analysis of data from a subsample of 193 workers indicate that, controlling for income and education, homeownership is significantly and positively related to three of the four measures of well-being. Automobile workers who are homeowners report significantly less economic strain, depression, and problematic alcohol use than those who do not own their homes. Levels of social support do not vary significantly on the basis of homeownership. Implications for research and policy are discussed.

Citation

Page-Adams, D., & Vosler, N. (1997). Homeownership and well-being among blue-collar workers (CSD Working Paper No. 97-05). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.