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The Regulation of Residential Tenancy Markets in Post-War Western Europe: An Economic Analysis


  • Juan S. Mora-Sanguinetti


This paper provides an economic analysis of the post-war regulation of European tenancy markets. Two representative types of market regulation are analyzed: the introduction of compulsory duration clauses in tenancy contracts (as a means of protecting the tenant against eviction); and rent control policies. First, the study describes and analyzes the recent history of such regulations in Spain, Italy, Finland and the UK, in order to draw some general conclusions about the evolution of European institutions in recent decades. Their effects are then explored by adapting a theoretical model of tenancy markets. The results show that both rent control and compulsory duration clauses potentially entail negative effects for European tenancy markets as they may drive some participants out of the market. These effects are consistent with the trends observed during the latter half of the 20th century in several European countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Juan S. Mora-Sanguinetti, 2011. "The Regulation of Residential Tenancy Markets in Post-War Western Europe: An Economic Analysis," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 8(1), pages 47-75, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:liu:liucej:v:8:y:2011:i:1:p:47-75

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Basu, Kaushik & Emerson, Patrick M, 2000. "The Economics of Tenancy Rent Control," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(466), pages 939-962, October.
    2. Raess, Pascal & von Ungern-Sternberg, Thomas, 2002. "A model of regulation in the rental housing market," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 475-500, July.
    3. Edward L. Glaeser & Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2003. "The Misallocation of Housing Under Rent Control," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1027-1046, September.
    4. Subal Kumbhakar & Ana Lozano-Vivas, 2004. "Does deregulation make markets more competitive? Evidence of mark-ups in Spanish savings banks," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(7), pages 507-515.
    5. Pena, Daniel & Ruiz-Castillo, Javier, 1984. "Distributional aspects of public rental housing and rent control policies in Spain," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 350-370, May.
    6. Early, Dirk W., 2000. "Rent Control, Rental Housing Supply, and the Distribution of Tenant Benefits," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 185-204, September.
    7. Matteo Iacoviello & Raoul Minetti, 2003. "Financial Liberalization And The Sensitivity Of House Prices To Monetary Policy: Theory And Evidence," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 71(1), pages 20-34, January.
    8. Olsen, Edgar O, 1972. "An Econometric Analysis of Rent Control," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(6), pages 1081-1100, Nov.-Dec..
    9. Munch, Jakob Roland & Svarer, Michael, 2002. "Rent control and tenancy duration," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 542-560, November.
    10. Kaushik Basu & Patrick M. Emerson, 2003. "Efficiency Pricing, Tenancy Rent Control and Monopolistic Landlords," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 70(278), pages 223-232, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Juan Mora-Sanguinetti, 2012. "Is judicial inefficacy increasing the weight of the house property market in Spain? Evidence at the local level," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 339-365, September.
    2. Seshimo, Hiroyuki, 2014. "Adverse selection versus hold up: Tenure choice, tenancy protection and equilibrium in housing markets," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 39-55.

    More about this item


    Rent control; Tenancy contracts; Compulsory terms;

    JEL classification:

    • K12 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Contract Law
    • N4 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation
    • R31 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Housing Supply and Markets


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