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Social Policy or Crowding-out? Tenant Protection in Comparative Long-run Perspective

Referierte Aufsätze Web of Science

Sebastian Kohl, Konstantin A. Kholodilin

In: Housing Studies 38 (2023), 4, S. 707-743


Private rental markets have become increasingly important since the Global Financial Crisis 2008–2009 and rent controls are back on the political agenda. Yet, they have received less attention from housing scholars than homeownership and public housing. This paper presents new data on the development of private tenancy legislation based on a content-coding of rent control, protection of tenants from eviction, and rental housing rationing laws across more than 15 countries and 100 years. This long-run perspective allows for inquiring about the dynamic effects of rent control on the rise of homeownership as the dominant tenure during the twentieth century. We find that both rent regulation and rationing measures were followed by increases of homeownership and decreases of private rentals. We suggest that homeownership was not just produced by generous subsidies or the homeownership dream, but also through the push-effect of regulation crowding out rental units.

Konstantin A. Kholodilin

Research Associate in the Macroeconomics Department

JEL-Classification: C23;O18;R38
Keywords: homeownership, rent control, housing policy