doi: 10.1007/s11205-022-02987-6.

Online ahead of print.


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Rod Hick et al.

Soc Indic Res.



Concerns about the quality of housing feature prominently in Academic and policy discussion on housing, yet there is little agreement about how housing deprivation should be measured or monitored. In empirical studies, measures of housing deprivation are typically examined for one of two purposes-either to compare incidences of housing quality problems for different groups, which typically leads to an examination of performance of different measures of housing deprivation, or as dependent variables to examine competing theories about what explains cross-national variation in such problems, which typically ignores these measurement considerations. Our paper seeks to analyse measurement and theory jointly, focussing in particular on the EU’s severe housing deprivation measure, and its subcomponents-overcrowding and housing conditions problems. In descriptive analysis, we show that the two components of the severe housing deprivation measure are weakly related and pattern differently across nations and that the aggregation rule of the main measure has a substantial influence on observed incidences of this problem. We subsequently construct multi-level regression-based models and demonstrate that the two components have quite different determinants. Our paper has implications for the measurement of severe housing deprivation in Europe, for theories that seek to account for differences in housing outcomes, and for policy that seeks to tackle housing deprivation problems.


Europe; Housing deprivation; Measurement; Overcrowding; Poverty; Theory.

Conflict of interest statement

Conflict of interestNo competing interests.

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Severe Housing Deprivation in the European Union: a Joint Analysis of Measurement and Theory