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

Markus Grabka () and Gerlinde Verbist

No 15/07, ImPRovE Working Papers from Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp

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.

Keywords: Social housing; non-cash income; imputed rent; income distribution (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D31 H4 I31 I32 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur and nep-ure
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (5) Track citations by RSS feed

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