Housing and economic inequality in the long run: the retreat of owner occupation

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

January 27, 2022


Finally, after a lengthy hiatus, the empirical facts of economic inequality need no introduction. In a blaze of publicity during a decade or more, the re-polarization of income and wealth across nearly half a century has been widely documented and is substantially uncontested. There is debate on whether incomes have peaked, no doubt that capital is back, and a great deal of speculation on what might happen next. What is surprising is the limited attention afforded to the pivotal role of housing. To address that gap, conceptually and empirically, this paper draws from panel surveys in three countries across two decades to locate residential property generally, and owner-occupation in particular, within a wider literature on the shape of economic inequality in the long run.

Published in

Economy and Society







Online Early

Open Access

© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.



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