Empirical Essays on Austrian Housing Policy Evaluation

Alexis Mundt

Publication: ThesisDoctoral thesis


This dissertation focuses on Austrian housing policy measures and regional housing markets. It places the Austrian situation into a European context and evaluates singular housing policy measures in detail. The evaluation includes aspects of effectiveness, equity, costs, and efficiency. This contribution brings together three empirical essays, each of which has a different focus and addresses particular elements of housing policy. All three papers use empirical methods, but with adjusted approaches according to their underlining research questions: from state finance comparisons, to subsidy calculations for specific households, to hedonic apartment price index construction. Quantitative methods, mainly based on administrative and survey data, are accompanied by qualitative research in the form of expert interviews. Across the three papers, the level of analysis differs and increases in focus: from the level of nation states, to the nine Austrian regions, to the 117 (as of 2015) administrative districts into which the Austrian territory is divided. The first two papers focus on state housing policy measures and evaluate them in an international comparative framework. Both follow different levels of aggregation. The first one takes a very broad view and quantifies the sum of expenses on various state housing policy measures in six EU countries at the level of nation states (Austria, Czech Republic, Great Britain, France, The Netherlands, and Spain). It investigates the structure of state support for the housing sector and establishes numeric estimates of its components (supply-side subsidies, housing benefits, tax advantages and concessions). The second paper focuses on a particular housing policy instrument in Austria: means-tested, income-dependent housing benefits. It analyses the nine regional housing benefit schemes in the context of minimum income schemes. The paper applies a comprehensive residual income approach to housing affordability and identifies market segments and household types where affordability is at risk, in spite of existing benefit schemes. The third paper calculates regional price indexes for second-hand apartments in Austria at the level of administrative districts. It is based on state-of-the-art hedonic methods of house price index construction that control for the varying distribution of apartment characteristics and locations over time. The resulting indexes are an important improvement over indexes based on average prices. All three papers address specific elements of Austrian housing policy and identify areas for policy improvements and necessary future research activity.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • WU Vienna
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2017

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