Homeownership is the most important asset among the elderly in Europe, but very little is known about gender and living arrangement differences in this domain. This paper aims at exploring patterns of exclusion from homeownership among middle-aged and older Europeans from a gender perspective, and with a special focus on their household composition. The analysis is based on the fourth wave of the "Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe" and includes a sub-sample of about 56,000 individuals aged 50 or over, living in 16 European countries. We estimated a set of multinomial logit models to examine the probability of being either tenant or rent-free occupiers versus homeowners. Our findings show that women are generally more likely to be excluded from homeownership than men. Nevertheless, a closer look suggests that the gender gap in homeownership is essentially generated by compositional differences between men and women, with the most relevant factor being household type. Older women are almost as twice as likely as men to live alone, which is associated-other things being equal-with a particular low likelihood to be homeowners virtually in every European country.
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