Social capital and leaving the nest: Channels and housing tenures

B. Andersson, Anton | 2021

i Social Networks, Volume 65

Abstract
Young adults in Europe sometimes have trouble moving away from their parents and obtaining a home of their own, which is considered an important step in the transition to adulthood. This paper investigates whether nest-leaving is affected by individual social capital and parental economic capital. The paper also examines how these resources are related to the type of housing tenure obtained and whether the housing was acquired through informal channels. In addition, the paper assesses whether differences in access and returns to social capital can explain the later nest-leaving of the children of immigrants. The study uses a Swedish two-wave panel survey of young adults aged between 19 and 22. Individual social capital is operationalized as an extensive social network measured with the position generator, while parental economic capital is estimated with registered disposable income. The results show that individual social capital is positively related to prospective nest-leaving, but parental income is not. Nevertheless, both individual social capital and parental economic capital are related to the obtained housing tenure type: social capital is linked to informal ‘second-hand’ rental agreements often acquired through contacts, whereas having high-income parents is linked to obtaining owned housing tenure. The children of immigrants are found to be more likely to live with their parents, but this is not explained by lower access or return to social capital.

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i Social Networks, Volume 65

Abstract
Young adults in Europe sometimes have trouble moving away from their parents and obtaining a home of their own, which is considered an important step in the transition to adulthood. This paper investigates whether nest-leaving is affected by individual social capital and parental economic capital. The paper also examines how these resources are related to the type of housing tenure obtained and whether the housing was acquired through informal channels. In addition, the paper assesses whether differences in access and returns to social capital can explain the later nest-leaving of the children of immigrants. The study uses a Swedish two-wave panel survey of young adults aged between 19 and 22. Individual social capital is operationalized as an extensive social network measured with the position generator, while parental economic capital is estimated with registered disposable income. The results show that individual social capital is positively related to prospective nest-leaving, but parental income is not. Nevertheless, both individual social capital and parental economic capital are related to the obtained housing tenure type: social capital is linked to informal ‘second-hand’ rental agreements often acquired through contacts, whereas having high-income parents is linked to obtaining owned housing tenure. The children of immigrants are found to be more likely to live with their parents, but this is not explained by lower access or return to social capital.

Read more