Rent control: A review of the evidence base

Rent control has been with us for more than 100 years. It has been controversial and keenly debated ever since, and it remains a critical fault line in housing policy debates. With this in mind, CaCHE decided to undertake a large-scale international evidence review incorporating both economics and wider social sciences literature from 2000 to 2020.

Careful assessment of these two ‘cultures’ can provide some shared learning and lessons. Economic thinking on rent control, in particular, is not the homogenous mass dismissal that it is often thought to be and we try to better understand that diversity and where it might take us. The authors also recognise that there has been little if any empirical UK literature in this area since the 1980s.

This review is a timely one, given the increasing interest in rent control within think tanks, in London, Wales, and especially in Scotland, where the government intends to introduce a national, effective model of rent control by 2025. The report will be a valuable contribution to these policy debates and includes lessons it might give for a government, like that of Scotland, contemplating the design of some form of rent control.

Authors: Prof Ken Gibb, Dr Adriana Mihaela Soaita, Prof Alex Marsh

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Date: February 23, 2022 2:36 pm

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