Systems of housing supply and housing production in Europe : a comparison of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Germany
This thesis investigates the relationships between systems of housing supply and production outcomes. Itis focussed on three European countries: the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Germany. These countries have very different systems of land and housing supply, especially in respect of the role of governments. The research is primarily about the way these different systems function. It has been suggested that different systems can produce similar outcomes. This can happen since systems of supply may appear very different, but may in practice be structured in a similar way. The hypothesis and methodology of the research thesis is a response to the paradox. To understand the operation of systems of housing supply, however, requires an holistic approach, where the main facets of systems are not viewed in isolation. The methodology is based around both empirical investigation and rational models of structure. 'Structure' is a theme of the research which, although providing many conceptual challenges, nevertheless can be utilized to build frameworks against which trends in production outcomes may be referenced. The combination of empirical and rational approaches draws upon the contemporary research debate about the analysis of housing systems. The findings of the research, however. reject the assertion that very different systems can produce similar outcomes. Nevertheless, it is shown that systems which are significantly different have some outcomes in common. This is seen to be an interesting finding, particularly when structure paradigms are considered. The main conclusion is, however, that outcomes are not easily reconciled with the models of structure. The Netherlands and Germany, for example, exhibit systems of supply which are characterized by high levels of co-operation between agencies and a similar economic policy stance. However, housing production outcomes are shown to be more similar in Germany and the United Kingdom. Hence, whilst the research provides many useful ideas for policy makers, it advocates a greater emphasis on the particularistic nature of systems of housing supply. This inevitably leaves housing researchers with further conceptual and methodological challenges.