In the spirit of Freakeconomics research, (i.e. research that leads to some interesting thinking), here's a study about the relationship between home ownership and structural unemployment. The more mobile you are (no mortgage), the more willing you are to move to new places, and take new jobs, you are less likely to be unemployed.
From the article:
English economist Andrew Oswald has shown that across European countries, and across U.S. states, high levels of home ownership are correlated with high levels of unemployment. More conventional factors such as generous welfare benefits or high levels of unionization don't explain unemployment nearly as well as the tendency to own houses. Renting your home and staying flexible do wonders for your chances of always finding an interesting job to do.
The complete article is here: