Public Assistance and Neighborhood Choice
Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
- Chair: Ingrid Gould Ellen, New York University
Neighborhood Choices, Neighborhood Effects and Housing Vouchers
AbstractWe study how households choose neighborhoods, how neighborhoods affect child ability, and how housing vouchers influence neighborhood choices and child outcomes. We use two new panel data sets with tract-level detail for Los Angeles county to estimate a dynamic model of optimal tract-level location choice for renting households and, separately, the impact of living in a given tract on child test scores (which we call “child ability” throughout). We simulate optimal location choices and changes in child ability of the poorest households in our sample under various housing-voucher policies. We demonstrate that a Moving-to-Opportunity type voucher, in which people residing in high poverty tracts are given a voucher to move to low-poverty tracts, does not affect child ability as households use the voucher to move to relatively inexpensive, low-impact neighborhoods. When vouchers are restricted such that they can only be applied in tracts with large effects on children, we demonstrate the total benefits of any voucher less than $700 per month exceed the costs and the voucher that maximizes total social surplus is $300 per month.
Waiting for Affordable Housing
AbstractWe develop a new dynamic equilibrium model of housing markets for low- and
moderate-income households, which is consistent with the key supply restrictions and search frictions that arise in rental markets for public and affordable housing. We estimate the model using data collected by the New York Housing Vacancy Survey in 2011. We find that having access to rent stabilized or affordable housing increases household welfare by up to $55,000. Our policy simulations suggest that increasing the supply of affordable housing by ten percent significantly improves the welfare of all renters in the city. As a consequence our model provides a compelling explanation why affordable housing policies are popular at the ballot box with the vast majority of urban renters.
Long-Run Outcomes of HOPE VI Public Housing Demolitions for Children
AbstractWe combine administrative data on subsidized housing participation and adult earnings with information on HOPE VI funded public housing project demolitions to test whether demolitions (and the consequent forced moves) affect the long-term earnings of resident children. The data enable us to identify children who are between the ages of 10 and 18 at the time of a demolition from 160 HOPE VI projects and over 5,000 non-HOPE VI projects, and to observe how their subsidized housing participation, neighborhood characteristics, and earnings evolve over time. Since HOPE VI demolitions are drawn from the “worst” public housing projects, the aim of our methodology is to use data for a large number of other public housing projects to control for differences between the HOPE VI demolitions and the wider set of public housing projects. We use stratification with regression (Rosenbaum and Rubin, 1983, 1984) to classify projects into strata based on a project-level propensity score, estimate within-stratum treatment effects using individual-level ordinary least squares regressions, and aggregate up the stratum-level results to produce an estimate of the overall treatment effect on the treated. The results suggest that, on average, children in HOPE VI projects earn nearly 36% more at age 26 relative to children in comparable non-demolished projects. We exploit the heterogeneity in HOPE VI projects and in demographic characteristics to explore how the treatment effect differs across diverse contexts.
- R2 - Household Analysis
- C3 - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables