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COVID-19 lockdown and housing deprivation across European countries

Luis Ayala, Elena Barcena, Olga Cantó and Carolina Navarro

Social Science & Medicine, 2022, vol. 298, issue C

Abstract: Housing deprivation is a key determinant of the capacity to prevent infection and to recover from a disease because poor housing prevents adequate sheltering during a quarantine. We analyze the degree of housing deprivation faced by households in European countries when COVID-19 lockdown measures were enacted. To do so, we propose a synthetic measure that includes more dimensions than the official Eurostat indicator of severe housing deprivation. We use a fuzzy set approach to measure housing deprivation so that, unlike traditional deprivation approaches, based on a dichotomous variable, we can identify different degrees of housing deprivation for each household in the population. We find similar orderings of housing deprivation dimensions by country with the highest degree of deprivation in the living space dimension and the lowest one in the standard housing or technology deprivation dimension. Nonetheless, housing deprivation levels differ across countries, with Eastern European households being significantly more housing deprived than the rest when the lockdown began. This result shows that the effects of the lockdown on social well-being have not affected all Europeans equally and emphasizes the need for government measures that promote decent housing.

Keywords: Lockdown; COVID-19; Housing deprivation; Fuzzy sets (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2022.114839

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