The Incidence of Housing Voucher Generosity

Robert A. Collinson

New York University

Peter Ganong

Harvard University

April 19, 2016

Most housing voucher recipients live in low-quality neighborhoods. We study how changes in voucher generosity affect neighborhood poverty, unit-quality and rents using administrative data. We examine a policy making vouchers more generous across a metro area. This policy had no impact on neighborhood poverty, little impact on observed quality, and increased rents. A second policy, which indexed rent ceilings to neighborhood rents, led voucher recipients to move to higher quality neighborhoods with lower crime, poverty and unemployment. These results are consistent with a model where the first policy acts as an income effect and the second as a substitution effect.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 42

Keywords: Incidence, Vouchers, Housing, Neighborhoods

JEL Classification: H22, H53, R21, R31

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Date posted: April 24, 2013 ; Last revised: April 20, 2016

Suggested Citation

Collinson, Robert A. and Ganong, Peter, The Incidence of Housing Voucher Generosity (April 19, 2016). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2255799 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2255799

Contact Information

Robert A. Collinson
New York University ( email )
295 Lafayette Street
New York, NY 10012
United States
Peter Ganong (Contact Author)
Harvard University ( email )
1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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