Shopping therapy? Incentive payments and tenant behaviour: lessons from underoccupation schemes in the United Kingdom

Hal Pawson, Stephen Sinclair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


There has been in recent years considerable emphasis on market-oriented reforms and consumer empowerment measures within British social and housing policy. Underlying many such initiatives is a model of human action and motivation based on rational choice theory. Proposals for the introduction of 'shopping incentives' within Housing Benefit are a prominent current example of this trend. This paper reflects on these developments by examining evidence from an experiment undertaken by the Department for Work and Pensions in three London boroughs to provide underoccupation incentive payments.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Housing Policy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2003



  • relocation
  • social and housing policy
  • housing allowance

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