The Effects of Housing Assistance on Labor Supply: Evidence from a Voucher Lottery

65 Pages Posted: 29 Dec 2008 Last revised: 20 Jan 2009

See all articles by Brian Jacob

Brian Jacob

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Jens Ludwig

Georgetown University - Public Policy Institute (GPPI); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: December 2008

Abstract

This study estimates the effects of means-tested housing programs on labor supply using data from a randomized housing voucher wait-list lottery in Chicago. Evidence for the net effects of housing programs on labor supply is central to a wide range of policy decisions about how to provide housing assistance to the poor. Economic theory is ambiguous about the expected sign of any labor supply response. We find that among working-age, able-bodied adults, housing voucher use reduces quarterly labor force participation rates by 4 percentage points (6 percent of the control complier mean) and quarterly earnings by $285 (10 percent), and increases social program participation rates by 2 percentage points (16 percent of the control mean). These impacts are toward the lower end of the range of recent estimates from other studies of housing programs, but nonetheless do still imply that housing vouchers reduce labor supply.

Suggested Citation

Jacob, Brian and Ludwig, Jens, The Effects of Housing Assistance on Labor Supply: Evidence from a Voucher Lottery (December 2008). NBER Working Paper No. w14570. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1320796

Brian Jacob (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-384-7968 (Phone)
617-496-5747 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Jens Ludwig

Georgetown University - Public Policy Institute (GPPI) ( email )

3600 N Street, NW Suite 200
Washington, DC 20057
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
27
Abstract Views
414
PlumX Metrics