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An Irony of History or the Exception as the Rule: The Implementation by Swedish Municipalities of an Economic Housing Policy Instrument
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for Housing and Urban Research.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-07486571
2001 (English)In: Scandinavian Political Studies, ISSN 0080-6757, E-ISSN 1467-9477, Vol. 24, no 1, p. 67-94Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Perverse effects and ironies should be at the center of attention in academic public policy analysis. A ‘perverse effect’ is not any inadvertent result produced by a public measure but a result, inside or outside the target area, that is entirely opposite to the result intended. An ‘irony’, as defined here, is different from a perverse effect in that it designates any unintended and unexpected result whose causes are unknown or left without comment. The pronouncement ‘this is an irony’ means ‘this is an unexpected result’; the statement ‘this is a perverse effect’ means ‘this is an unexpected, diametrically opposite result at least partly produced by the intervention’ (Vedung 1998a. Utvärdering i politik och förvaltning. Lund: Studentlitteratur, p. 62).

The article deals with the ironic result of an economic policy instrument in Swedish national housing land policy, the Land Stipulation Requisite for State Housing Loans 1974–91. The purpose of the requisite was that the pertinent municipality (not a private landowner) must have allocated to the building commissioner the land for his planned residential development if he was to be granted state housing loans.

The policy makers expected that the share of the total housing production taking place on land supplied by municipalities would increase. Yet between 1972 and 1990 the housing production on land supplied by municipal authorities decreased. This puzzling gap, referred to as the ‘enigmatic irony’ of the Land Stipulation Requisite, is explained. The explanation is phrased in the terminology of a general theory of public intervention results. The explanation may be summarized as ‘exception as the rule’.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2001. Vol. 24, no 1, p. 67-94
National Category
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-36217DOI: 10.1111/1467-9477.00047OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-36217DiVA, id: diva2:64116
Available from: 2008-10-17 Created: 2008-10-17 Last updated: 2018-01-18Bibliographically approved

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