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The Rise and Fall of Social Housing? Housing Decommodification in Long-run Comparison

Referierte Aufsätze Web of Science

Konstantin A. Kholodilin, Sebastian Kohl, Florian Müller

In: Journal of Social Policy im Ersch. (2024), [online first: 2022-12-02]


The comparative study of housing decommodification lags behind classical welfare state research, while housing research itself is rich in homeownership studies but lacks comparative accounts of private and social rentals due to missing comparative data. Building on existing works and various primary sources, this study presents a new collection of up to forty-eight countries’ social housing shares in stock and new construction since the first housing laws around 1900. The interpolated benchmark time series generally describes the rise and fall of social housing across a residual, a socialist, and a Northern-European housing group. The decline was steeper than for the classical welfare state, but the degree of erosion was surprisingly small in some countries where public housing associations remained resilient. Within the broader housing welfare state, social housing correlates positively with rent regulation and allowances, but negatively with homeownership subsidies and liberal mortgage regulation. A multivariate analysis shows that social housing is rather explained by housing shortages and complementarities with rental and welfare policies than by typical welfare state theories (GDP, political parties). Generally, the paper shows that conventional housing typologies are difficult to defend over time and argues more generally for including housing decommodification in welfare state research.

Konstantin A. Kholodilin

Research Associate in the Macroeconomics Department

JEL-Classification: N4;R31;R38
Keywords: Housing tenure, comparative, social housing policies, housing welfare, decommodification

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