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Journal Article

Housing prices and government approval: the impact of housing booms on left- and right-wing governments in 16 advanced industrialized countries


Publication date

Mar 2021


In this article, we argue that rising housing prices increase voter approval of incumbent governments because such a rise increases personal wealth, which leads to greater voter satisfaction. This effect is strongest under right-wing governments because those who benefit from rising prices—homeowners—are more likely to be right-leaning. Non-homeowners, who are more likely to vote for left-leaning parties, will view rising housing prices as a disadvantage and therefore feel the government does not serve them well, which will mitigate the advantage to left-wing governments. We find support for our arguments using both macro-level data (housing prices and government approval ratings in 16 industrialized countries between 1960 and 2017) and micro-level data (housing prices and individuals’ vote choices in the United Kingdom using the British Household Panel Survey). The findings imply that housing booms benefit incumbent governments generally and right-wing ones in particular.

Published in

Canadian Journal of Political Science

Volume and page numbers

54 , 163 -185





Politics, Public Opinion, Psychology, Economics, Government, Savings And Assets, and Housing Market


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