The effectiveness of housing allowance in welfare states: a comparative study in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden and South Korea

Jung, Min Ah (2013) The effectiveness of housing allowance in welfare states: a comparative study in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden and South Korea. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

The financial burden arising from expenditure on housing is associated with the income and housing problems of low-income households. This research examines the effectiveness of housing allowance in solving these problems and thus achieving social and housing policy objectives, i.e. improving income maintenance, enhancing housing affordability and providing work incentives. It also explains how the various institutional features of housing allowance systems make changes in achieving different policy objectives. Taking into account the fact that housing allowance programmes operate alongside other institutions of the welfare state that vary among countries, this research compares the effectiveness of housing allowances in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden and South Korea using five indicators−Residual income after rent payment, Poverty rate, Rent to Income Ratio, Income Replacement Ratio and Effective Marginal Tax Rate. The findings show that housing allowance is an effective policy instrument across countries in the following ways. First, it contributes to the improvement in residual income after housing costs and the decrease in poverty rates among low-income tenants. Second, the housing allowance reduces the financial burden arising from expenditure on rent. Third, in contrast to the positive effects of housing allowances in improving income and housing problems, their provision as part of in-work benefit relates to the increase in work disincentives indicating the higher possibility of working-poor tenants being trapped in unemployment and poverty. Fourth, despite variations in the features of the welfare and housing regime, the design of the benefit arrangement explains many of the differences in the effectiveness of housing allowance in the four countries. Fifth, subsidising a great share of housing costs is an important factor related to the improvement in income maintenance and housing affordability. Sixth, basing the provision of housing allowance on actual rent is also essential in solving the income and housing problems of low-income tenants. Findings relating to the institutional feature of housing allowance are the basis for the recommendation that the Korean housing allowance system should be reformed to reflect a household’s actual need.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: housing allowance, housing benefit, social policy, housing policy, welfare states.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences
Funder's Name: UNSPECIFIED
Supervisor's Name: Stephens, Professor Mark and Gibb, Professor Kenneth
Date of Award: 2013
Depositing User: Ms MIN AH JUNG
Unique ID: glathesis:2013-4679
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2013 10:38
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2017 16:36
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/4679

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