Unitary Housing Regimes in Transition: Comparing Denmark and Sweden in a Perspective of Path Dependence and Change

Bo Bengtsson, Lotte Jensen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsResearch


Path dependence is strong in housing institutions and policy. In both Denmark and Sweden, today’s universal and ‘unitary’ (Kemeny) housing regimes can be traced back to institutions that were introduced fifty years back in history or more. Recently, universal and unitary housing systems in Scandinavia, and elsewhere, are under challenge from strong political and economic forces. These challenges can be summarized as economic cutbacks, privatization and Europeanization.
Although both the Danish and the Swedish housing system are universal and unitary in character, they differ considerably in institutional detail. Both systems have corporatist features, however in Denmark public housing is based on local tenant democracy and control, and in Sweden on companies owned and controlled by the municipalities, combined with a centralized system of rent negotiations.
In the paper the present challenges to the Danish and Swedish housing regimes are analysed and the responses and outcomes in terms of policy change and/or institutional continuity (path dependence) are compared. Overall, the more decentralized Danish housing regime seems to have resisted pressures for change and retrenchment better so far than the more centralized Swedish regime.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAt Home on the Housing Market : RC43 Conference Book of Proceedings
EditorsRichard Ronald
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherUniversiteit van Amsterdam
Publication date2013
ISBN (Print)9789078862062
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventRC43 Conference 2013: At Home with the Housing Market - University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 10 Jul 201312 Jul 2013


ConferenceRC43 Conference 2013
LocationUniversity of Amsterdam

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