Abstract: Job loss is a significant income shock that can lead to declines in living standards and satisfaction. Wealth can provide a key resource in stratifying the risk and the consequences of such an event. In this article, I examine the extent to which wealth stratified the experience of job loss in the UK from 1991 to 2008. I distinguish between different wealth groups using information on homeownership and home value of primary residency, and then study whether these groups face different risks and/or consequences of job loss. The results show that renters were a significantly disadvantaged group compared to homeowners during the observation period. Not only did they faced a significantly higher risk of job loss, they also experienced greater declines in earnings, household income, and life satisfaction, and larger increases in income poverty in the year of job loss. Among homeowners, the risk and consequences of job loss were similar. In a country like the UK with minimal public insurance for unemployment, homeownership appears to provide a significant source of stratification for job loss.
Keywords: homeownership; home value; insurance function; job loss; welfare stratification