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Housing, the welfare state and poverty: On the financialization of housing and the dependent variable problem

Hick, Rod ORCID: and Stephens, Mark 2023. Housing, the welfare state and poverty: On the financialization of housing and the dependent variable problem. Housing, Theory and Society 40 (1) , pp. 78-95. 10.1080/14036096.2022.2095438

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The comparative study of housing systems enjoys a “disjointed” relationship with comparative literature on the welfare state and poverty, a separation which has been to the detriment of each of these fields. Such are its implications for the income distribution that the concept of “financializaton” developed in housing studies provides potentially rich raw material for welfare state and poverty literature. However, there are also limitations in the way in which “financializaton” has been operationalized in housing studies: definitions are often inconsistent, and it has proven challenging to identify indicators that measure convincingly the multiple dimensions of financialization. We argue that greater consideration of the “dependent variable problem”, extensively discussed in the welfare state literature, but generally neglected in housing studies, can advance understanding of housing market financialization and its effects. A greater integration of scholarship on the welfare state, housing studies and poverty would be to mutual benefit.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Additional Information: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 1403-6096
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 18 July 2022
Date of Acceptance: 21 June 2022
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2023 18:43

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