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Is Buying a Home or Renting Right for You? by Moshe A. Milevsky Ph.D.

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The Missing Factor: Housing and Social Capital

I have focused my efforts on teasing out the impact of human capital considerations as they apply to financial capital decisions, using basic rules of arithmetic. Although I have emphasized these two forms of capital, I have so far overlooked a third form of capital, which completes the trinity: social capital.

Social capital—more so than human capital or financial capital—is not visible to the naked eye, is not easy to measure and, unlike every other form of capital I’ve discussed so far, does not belong on the personal balance sheet. Social capital is loosely defined as the collection of networks, cooperation, relationships, norms, mutual aid, faith, and various other forms of “glue” that hold ...

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