Housing Policies in China: Issues and Options

Reprint No. 2012:52

Author(s): Yves ZenouYear: 2012 Title: Regional Science Policy and Practice Volume (No.): 4 (4) Pages: 393–417
Online article (restrictions may apply)
Preliminary version

This paper consists in three parts. The first part deals with theory. We evaluate the pros and cons of government involvement in urban housing and of renting versus ownership. In the second part, we summarize the different housing policies that have been implemented in the United States, Europe and Asia.We draw some conclusions. In particular, we show that there is a tradeoff between encouraging home ownership and social housing since countries that have favoured the former have neglected the latter (like Japan, Spain, etc.). In the third part, we use the theory and the international policy parts to address housing policy issues in China. One of the main concerns in Chinese cities is the rise of poverty mainly by ‘illegal’ migrants (who are Chinese rural residents) living in ‘urban villages’. We propose two steps to fight against poverty in Chinese cities. The first one is to require that the Chinese government recognizes these ‘illegal’ migrants by helping them becoming ‘legal’. The second step is to encourage social housing that directly or indirectly subsidizes housing for the poor. In that case, to fight against poverty, one can either implement place-targeted policies (like the enterprise zone programmes in the US and Europe and/or housing projects in the US, UK or France) or people-targeted policies (like the moving to opportunity programmes in the US). We also discuss other issues related to poverty. In particular, we suggest that the government could also try to keep migrants in rural areas by attracting firms there and/or introduce a microfinance system that helps them become entrepreneurs.

Zenou, Yves (2012), "Housing Policies in China: Issues and Options". Regional Science Policy and Practice 4(4), 393–417.

Sick of Inequality?

An Introduction to the Relationship between Inequality and Health

Sick of Inequality.jpg

In this book Andreas Bergh, Therese Nilsson, IFN and Lund University, and Daniel Waldenström, IFN and Paris School of Economics, France, review the latest research on the relationship between inequality and health. What does inequality mean for our health? Does increasing income inequality affect outcomes such as obesity, life expectancy and subjective well-being?


Seminars organized by IFN


To present ongoing research informal brown-bag seminars are held on Mondays at 11:30 am. This is an opportunity for IFN researchers to test ideas and results.

Academically oriented seminars are most of the time held on Wednesdays at 10 am. At these events researchers from IFN and other institutions present their research.

In addition, IFN organizes seminars open to the public. Topics for these are derived from the IFN research.

Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Grevgatan 34 - 2 fl, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden | Phone: +46-(0)8-665 45 00 | info@ifn.se