The politics of mortgage credit expansion in the small coordinated market economies

Karen M. Anderson, Paulette Kurzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Recent contributions to the comparative political economy literature claim that liberal market economies are vulnerable to asset booms and busts because of financial deregulation, shrinking welfare states and a political ideology emphasising financial self-sufficiency. This article examines the rapid expansion of mortgage lending in three coordinated market economies (CMEs): Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands. This expansion is puzzling given that all three countries are CMEs with generous welfare states. Yet the pattern of mortgage lending resembles the Anglo-Saxon or liberal market economies (LMEs) more than other CMEs. The article argues that mortgage bubbles in the small CMEs emerged as the unintended outcome of pairing neoliberal programmes to expand home ownership with collectivist housing institutions. This resulted in supply restrictions and rising property values which saddled households with extraordinarily high mortgage debts. In short, mortgage credit bubbles are not unique to Anglo-liberal welfare states and may have different origins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)366-389
Number of pages24
JournalWest European Politics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 23 2020


  • Denmark
  • Mortgage bubbles
  • Netherlands
  • Sweden
  • coordinated market economies
  • residential capitalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations


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