Housing Vouchers, Income Shocks, and Crime: Evidence from a Lottery
62 Pages Posted: 11 Jul 2017 Last revised: 26 May 2020
Date Written: May 22, 2020
Employing exogenous variation in randomized wait-list positions assigned using a lottery, we identify the causal effects of Section 8 housing vouchers on arrests of adult household heads. Based on administrative records from Houston, we find that voucher receipt has no effect on the likelihood of arrest. Even among the groups with the highest propensities for crime, the vouchers have no impact. Income effects for these adults are particularly large relative to neighborhood effects, leading us to believe that this large income shock does little to alleviate financial pressures that could lead to crime.
Keywords: Housing Vouchers, Section 8, Crime, Neighborhood Effects, Income Shocks
JEL Classification: I38, K42, R23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation