Do young people stand alone in their demand to live alone? The intergenerational conflict hypothesis put to test in the housing sector

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Laura Naegele
Wouter De Tavernier
Moritz Hess
Sebastian Merkel


The housing sector is currently under pressure: demographic shifts, urbanisation as well as the availability and costs of housing have led to increasing prices. Concerns are being raised that these rising housing costs could lead to intergenerational conflicts. While older generations often live in their privatelyowned dwellings, younger cohorts struggle to become homeowners, moving the field of housing into the spotlight of national debates. We analyse the importance of housing for Europeans using data from Eurobarometer. Results show that the relevance of housing increased between 2008 and 2018. However, generational differences were found: while older and younger people see housing as an important topic at the country level, only the younger generation seems to be affected personally.

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Author Biographies

Laura Naegele, University of Vechta

Laura Naegele is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Gerontology, Department of Ageing and Work at the University of Vechta, Germany. In her research she focuses on aspects of ageing workforces, ageism in the labour market and retirement pathways.

Wouter De Tavernier, KU Leuven

Wouter De Tavernier is a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Social and Cultural Psychology, KU Leuven, Belgium. He mainly works on issues related to female employment, the late career, retirement and pensions.

Moritz Hess, University of Bremen

Moritz Hess is a Post-Doc at the SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy, University of Bremen, Germany. His main research interests are demographic ageing, pension and retirement policies, welfare state comparison, and social inequality in old age.

Sebastian Merkel, Ruhr-University Bochum

Sebastian Merkel is an Assistant Professor for healthcare and eHealth at the faculty of social sciences at the Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany. His research focuses on wellbeing, healthcare, and social care, particularly in old age.