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Non-cash benefits from social housing in Europe: a comparative perspective

Author

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  • Markus M. Grabka
  • Gerlinde Verbist

Abstract

Most of the available comparative empirical evidence on levels and trends in income inequalities and poverty in OECD countries relies on the concept of household disposable cash income, thus ignoring the services governments provide to households. Including those services matters a lot, however, for policy interpretation. While cash housing benefits are generally included in household disposable income, the effect of social housing is not accounted for. This may provide a misleading picture of the impact of overall housing policies on inequality and poverty, as some countries use different policies to help households meet their housing expenses. In this paper we study the value of the in-kind benefit households receive by living in social housing accommodation. For this purpose we calculate estimates of imputed rent, which until now has mainly been used to estimate the benefit derived from homeownership. We then analyse how these benefits are distributed over the population and how they help to combat poverty. Finally, in a case study for Germany, we compare cash and in-kind social benefits for housing.

Suggested Citation

  • Markus M. Grabka & Gerlinde Verbist, 2015. "Non-cash benefits from social housing in Europe: a comparative perspective," ImPRovE Working Papers 15/07, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
  • Handle: RePEc:hdl:improv:1507
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    File URL: http://www.centrumvoorsociaalbeleid.be/ImPRovE/Working%20Papers/ImPRovE%20WP%201507_1.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Aaberge, Rolf & Langørgen, Audun & Mogstad, Magne & Østensen, Marit, 2008. "The Impact of Local Public Services and Geographical Cost of Living Differences on Poverty Estimates," IZA Discussion Papers 3686, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Rolf Aaberge & Audun Langørgen, 2006. "Measuring The Benefits From Public Services: The Effects Of Local Government Spending On The Distribution Of Income In Norway," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 52(1), pages 61-83, March.
    3. Gerlinde Verbist & Michael Förster & Maria Vaalavuo, 2012. "The Impact of Publicly Provided Services on the Distribution of Resources: Review of New Results and Methods," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 130, OECD Publishing.
    4. Alari Paulus & Holly Sutherland & Panos Tsakloglou, 2010. "The distributional impact of in-kind public benefits in European countries," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(2), pages 243-266.
    5. Aaberge, Rolf & Bhuller, Manudeep & Langørgen, Audun & Mogstad, Magne, 2010. "The distributional impact of public services when needs differ," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(9-10), pages 549-562, October.
    6. Engels, Wolfram & Gutowski, Armin & Hamm, Walter & Möschel, Wernhard & Stützel, Wolfgang & von Weizsäcker, Carl Christian & Willgerodt, Hans, 1984. "Mehr Markt in der Wohnungswirtschaft," Kronberger Kreis-Studien 7, Stiftung Marktwirtschaft / The Market Economy Foundation, Berlin.
    7. François Marical & Marco Mira d’Ercole & Maria Vaalavuo & Gerlinde Verbist, 2008. "Publicly provided services and the distribution of households' economic resources," OECD Journal: Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2008(1), pages 1-38.
    8. Joachim R. Frick & Markus M. Grabka, 2003. "Imputed Rent and Income Inequality: A Decomposition Analysis for Great Britain, West Germany and the U.S," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 49(4), pages 513-537, December.
    9. Frick, Joachim R. & Grabka, Markus M. & Smeeding, Timothy M. & Tsakloglou, Panos, 2010. "Distributional Effects of Imputed Rents in Five European Countries," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 167-179.
    10. Dan Andrews & Aida Caldera Sánchez & Åsa Johansson, 2011. "Housing Markets and Structural Policies in OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 836, OECD Publishing.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dustmann, Christian & Fitzenberger, Bernd & Zimmermann, Markus, 2018. "Housing Expenditures and Income Inequality," IZA Discussion Papers 11953, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. repec:eee:jhouse:v:43:y:2019:i:c:p:118-130 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social housing; non-cash income; imputed rent; income distribution;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty

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