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GINI DP 41: Home Ownership and Income Inequalities in Western Europe: Access, Affordability and Quality


  • Michelle Norris

    () (Extension at the Champaign Center, University of Illinois)

  • Nessa Winston



Since the 1980s tenure patterns in Western Europe changed radically. The social and private rented sectors have generally contracted and in most EU15 countries home ownership has expanded significantly. This paper tests the relationship between home ownership and inequality in Western Europe, revealing significant inter-country differences in home ownership inequalities in 1997, particularly between the countries of southern and western Europe on the one hand and central and northern Europe on the other. However, these differences had significantly diminished by 2007, as had inter-country variations in income inequality. The results suggest that home ownership helped to counterbalance wider inequalities in the income distribution in 1997, particularly in Southern Europe. However, by 2007 home ownership played a less significant role in counterbalancing inequality in these countries. In the other relatively unequal countries, home ownership was enabled by more widespread mortgage indebtedness and played less of a role in counterbalancing income inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Michelle Norris & Nessa Winston, 2012. "GINI DP 41: Home Ownership and Income Inequalities in Western Europe: Access, Affordability and Quality," GINI Discussion Papers 41, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:aia:ginidp:41

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Iwata, Shinichiro & Yamaga, Hisaki, 2008. "Rental externality, tenure security, and housing quality," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 201-211, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Frank A Cowell & Eleni Karagiannaki & Abigail McKnight, 2012. "Mapping and measuring the distribution of household wealth: A cross-country analysis," CASE Papers case165, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.

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