Home ownership and support for government redistribution

S.C.H. André, C.L. Dewilde

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In this article, we investigate the relationship between home ownership and support for redistribution in 24 European countries, integrating research on housing regimes and welfare attitudes. We improve upon earlier research by taking into account within-group heterogeneity of owners and tenants, by elaborating on social mechanisms (self-interest and socio-spatial segregation), by researching a wide range of European (instead of Anglo-Saxon) countries and by recognizing differences in the meaning of tenure and home ownership across countries. We find that, while home owners are less supportive of redistribution, the effect of home ownership varies with age and income position. We furthermore find that housing regime characteristics matter, as owners and tenants have different welfare attitudes in different contexts. In settings where home ownership has become more financialized, support for redistribution is smaller, and more so among home owners. On the other hand, in settings where outright home ownership fills gaps in welfare provision, both owners and tenants prefer more redistribution.
Keywords: home ownership, support for redistribution, housing regimes, multilevel Europe
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-348
JournalComparative European Politics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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