Constraint-conscious behavior in public housing tenants: a grounded theory analysis of online Q&A texts

Authors: Chae Yeon Park*, Seoul National University
Topics: Urban and Regional Planning, Planning Geography, Urban Geography
Keywords: public housing, constraint-conscious behavior, online Q&A, grounded theory
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Committee Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This study examines constraint-conscious behavior in Korean public housing tenants. In Korea, tenants are required to renew their housing contract every two years. However, there are substantial constraints and requirements regarding the renewal and tenants may have to intentionally adjust their behavior accordingly. In order to examine such constraint-conscious behavior, this study consults Korea’s largest online Q&A service ‘Naver Jisik iN’ and collects questions uploaded by public housing tenants from January 2017 to November 2018. Through grounded theory analysis, 123 concepts, 51 subcategories, and 19 categories were identified.

The greatest constraint to tenants appears to be income limit. In order to make themselves eligible, the most often sought constraint-conscious behavior is the eviction of a high-income household member. Moreover, tenants often ignore employment or salary increase opportunities, hesitate to buy a new car or even get married with a high-income partner by fear of eviction. Such constraint-conscious behavior makes it difficult for tenants to escape poverty or at the least, improve their livelihoods. This may lead to an inefficient public housing program, and raises questions on the incentives that the current policy gives.

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