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Dubious Studies: Renters are Happy and Slender

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A little late on this one, but two separate studies have found that renters tend to be happier and thinner than homeowners. The first study, out of University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, basically pops the bubble that says that home ownership translates into some sort of bliss. According to the study, homeowners "derive more pain (but no more joy) from their house and home...Homeowners are no happier than renters by any of the following definitions: life satisfaction, overall mood, overall feeling, general moment-to-moment emotions (i.e. affect) and affect at home but instead derive more pain from their house and home." But as the nice people at point out, there's a "chicken-or-the-egg question for social scientists, who are unsure if home ownership causes these patterns or if people prone to less sociability, less interest in leisure activities and higher stress are simply more attracted to owning homes." And the average homeowner is around 12 pounds heavier that those who rent, according to another study out of Ohio. "Researchers discovered homeowners, on average, outweighed renters by 12 pounds. In addition to excess weight, female homeowners were also carrying around more aggravation, making less time for leisure, and were less likely to spend time with friends." One has to think that the renters are younger and less likely to have children (which would lead to more aggravation and less time for leisure). [WSJ/]