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Journal Article

Historicizing Housing Typologies: Beyond Welfare State Regimes and Varieties of Residential Capitalism


Kohl,  Sebastian
Soziologie des Marktes, MPI for the Study of Societies, Max Planck Society;

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Blackwell, T., & Kohl, S. (2019). Historicizing Housing Typologies: Beyond Welfare State Regimes and Varieties of Residential Capitalism. Housing Studies, 34(2), 298-318. doi:10.1080/02673037.2018.1487037.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-9E75-A
Comparative housing scholars have, for many years now, imported typologies from non-housing spheres to explain housing phenomena. Notably, approaches attempting to account for divergent housing tenure patterns and trends have frequently been organized around typologies based on the assumption that a causal relationship exists between homeownership rates and the type of welfare regime or, more recently, the variety of residential capitalism a country exhibits. While these housing-welfare regime approaches have provided important research tools, we argue that the typologies they generate represent cross-sectional snapshots which offer little enduring cogency. Based on long-run data, we show that the postulated associations between homeownership, welfare and mortgage debt are historically contingent. This paper makes the case for employing historicized typologies, proposing a country-based typology linking historical housing finance system trajectories to urban form and tenure, with regional dimensions. We argue the need for typologies which can accommodate longitudinal, path-dependent dimensions, both within and between countries.