Time and age and cohorts

More women than men get home loans in South Africa up to the age of 39 or so. This is fascinating in itself and needs further analysis.

Unfortunately, the analysis in the linked story misses a key point. 30 year old women and 50 year old women differ in that there is a 20 year age gap and there is a 20 year generation gap.

The 50 year old women were born in 1962 and grew up in the 60s, 70s and 80s, were educated in that period and influenced by social norms in that period and were given the opportunities that period provided.

Importantly, this means less educated, lower paid, larger families and less career oriented in their 30s than 30 year old women (born in 1982) are today. We can’t extrapolate from that study and compare the two age groups and say it’s a function of age. It’s likely to be heavily influenced by how different the world is.

That aside, I would not have guessed that more women under 40 would be successfully applying for home loans than men. (Not because they “shouldn’t” I just didn’t expect it based on the greater opportunities still available to men.)

I do wonder how the number of applicants compares, and what differences remain after controlling for education, province and many more others. If only I could get my hands on the data!

Published by David Kirk

The opinions expressed on this site are those of the author and other commenters and are not necessarily those of his employer or any other organisation. David Kirk runs Milliman’s actuarial consulting practice in Africa. He is an actuary and is the creator of New Business Margin on Revenue. He specialises in risk and capital management, regulatory change and insurance strategy . He also has extensive experience in embedded value reporting, insurance-related IFRS and share option valuation.

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