Similar Origins–Divergent Paths: The Politics of German and Dutch Housing Markets

Alice Cooper, Paulette Kurzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This article is a comparative study of Dutch and German housing markets. Until the early 1990s, the two housing markets shared many commonalities, both in terms of their specific characteristics and the larger political, economic, and institutional contexts in which they were embedded. Since the 1990s, in contrast, the two housing markets have diverged significantly; with home ownership, mortgage debt and housing prices much higher in the Netherlands than Germany. We explain this divergence, first, by pointing out the more extensive turn to neoliberalism in housing policy in the Netherlands than in Germany. Second, we look at the differences in the treatment of private renting versus not-for-profit social housing by governments in each country. Third, we draw attention to mortgage liberalisation after 1993 in the Netherlands, which did not happen in Germany, and the treatment of fiscal subsidies for home ownership. This paper contributes to the debate on varieties of residential capitalism and stresses that housing patterns diverge even among countries with the same welfare state typologies and similar rental markets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-360
Number of pages20
JournalGerman Politics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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