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Housing Policies in China: Issues and Options

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  • Zenou, Yves

    () (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))

Abstract

This article consists in three parts. The first part deals with theory. We evaluate the pros and cons of government involvement in urban housing and of renting versus ownership. In the second part, we summarize the different housing policies that have been implemented in the United States, Europe, and Asia. We draw some conclusions. In particular, we show that there is a tradeoff between encouraging home ownership and social housing since countries that have favor the former have neglected the latter (like Japan, Spain, etc.). In the third part, we use the theory and the international policy parts to address housing policy issues in China. One of the main concerns in Chinese cities is the raise of poverty mainly by “illegal” migrants (who are Chinese rural residents) living in “urban villages”. We propose two steps to fight against poverty in Chinese cities. The first one is to require that the Chinese government recognizes these “illegal” migrants by helping them becoming “legal”. The second step is to encourage social housing that directly or indirectly subsidizes housing for the poor. In that case, to fight against poverty, one can either implement place-targeted policies (like the enterprise zone programs in the US and Europe and/or housing projects in the US, UK, or France) or people-targeted policies (like the MTO programs in the US). We also discuss other issues related to poverty. In particular, we suggest that the government could also try to keep migrants in rural areas by attracting firms there and/or introduce a microfinance system that helps them become entrepreneur.

Suggested Citation

  • Zenou, Yves, 2010. "Housing Policies in China: Issues and Options," Working Paper Series 824, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0824
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    Cited by:

    1. Zenou, Yves, 2011. "Search, migration, and urban land use: The case of transportation policies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 174-187, November.
    2. Dreger, Christian & Zhang, Yanqun, 2010. "Is there a bubble in the Chinese housing market?," Discussion Papers 290, European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Department of Business Administration and Economics.
    3. Song, Yan & Zenou, Yves, 2012. "Urban villages and housing values in China," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 495-505.
    4. Liao, Wen-Chi & Wang, Xizhu, 2012. "Hedonic house prices and spatial quantile regression," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 16-27.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Urban villages; Social housing; Poverty; Place-targeted policies; People-targeted policies; China;

    JEL classification:

    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

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