Does homeownership reduce crime? A radical housing reform from the UK

  • “Right to Buy” (RTB), a large-scale natural experiment by which incumbent tenants in public housing could buy properties at heavily-subsidised prices, increased the UK homeownership rate by over 10 percentage points between 1980 and the late 1990s. This paper studies its impact on crime, showing that RTB generated significant reductions in property and violent crime that persist up to today. The behavioural changes of incumbent tenants and the renovation of public properties were the main drivers of the crime reduction. This is evidence of a novel means by which subsidised homeownership and housing policy may contribute to reduce criminality.

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Author:Richard Disney, John Gathergood, Stephen Machin, Matteo Sandi
Parent Title (English):Center for Financial Studies (Frankfurt am Main): CFS working paper series ; No. 651
Series (Serial Number):CFS working paper series (651)
Publisher:Center for Financial Studies
Place of publication:Frankfurt, M.
Document Type:Working Paper
Year of Completion:2021
Year of first Publication:2021
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2021/01/05
Tag:Crime; Homeownership; Public Housing
Issue:September 2020
Institutes:Wirtschaftswissenschaften / Wirtschaftswissenschaften
Wissenschaftliche Zentren und koordinierte Programme / Center for Financial Studies (CFS)
Dewey Decimal Classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 33 Wirtschaft / 330 Wirtschaft
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht