How housing affects the association between low income and living conditions-deprivation across Europe

Caroline Dewilde*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

To explain an emerging trend towards deteriorating living conditions among low-income households across several (West-)European countries, it makes sense to investigate domains of socio-economic regulation that impact on expenditures, rather than incomes. I focus specifically on the domain of housing. Multilevel analyses for 28 countries (EU-SILC) demonstrate that redistributive housing policies such as rental market regulation and housing allowances weaken the cross-sectional (between-country) positive association between a low-income and living conditions-deprivation, while also benefiting living conditions across the broader population. Regarding changes over time, increased uptake of housing allowances throughout the Great Financial Crisis (2008/2009) seems to have shielded in particular renters from deteriorating living conditions, and might have compensated for declining availability of social housing. Higher house prices and price volatility, indicating housing market financialization, are associated with increased living conditions-deprivation for renters and low-income owners, both cross-sectionally and within countries over time. Anti-poverty policies should thus take a broader perspective, and take better account of provision for housing and other basic needs.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages28
JournalSocio-Economic Review
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2021

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