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DECIPHE – Demographic Change and the Intergenerational Persistence in Homeownership in Europe

Current Project

Project Management

Prof. Dr. Philipp Lersch (SOEP), Prof. Dr. Sabine Zinn (SOEP), Selçuk Bedük, PhD (University of Oxford), Márton Medgyesi, PhD (TÁRKI), Sergi Vidal, PhD (CED)

Project Period

June 1, 2024 - May 31, 2028

Funded by


DECIPHE is the first project to comprehensively study whether and how profound demographic changes in Europe impact the intergenerational persistence of homeownership, considering variations across countries, regions, and birth cohorts.

It adopts a life course framework on housing tenure, in which individuals’ homeownership is shaped by their household members’ preferences and resources and contextual factors, including housing markets, cultural norms, and welfare institutions. Demographic changes related to romantic unions, fertility, mortality, and migration can impact the persistence of homeownership by affecting the degree of support from the parental generation and the preferences, opportunities, and constraints for entering homeownership in the offspring generation.

With a comparative research design covering all EU member states, the project zooms in on four focus country cases – Germany, Hungary, Spain, and the UK – and will draw on available longitudinal data in combination with newly collected survey data, including survey experiments, and a novel contextual database.

The empirical results will inform a microsimulation model on the demographic conditions of the intergenerational persistence for predicting future scenarios and will be communicated to diverse target audiences using data visualization, explainer videos, and discussion fora.

DIW Team


Philipp Lersch
Philipp Lersch

Research Group Leader „Life Course and Inequality“ in the German Socio-Economic Panel study Department