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Housing Vouchers, Income Shocks, and Crime: Evidence from a Lottery

50 Pages Posted: 11 Jul 2017  

Jillian B. Carr

Purdue University - Krannert School of Management

Vijetha Koppa

Stephen F. Austin State University - Department of Economics and Finance

Date Written: May 5, 2017

Abstract

The Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) is the largest federal housing assistance program; it provides in-kind transfers in the form of rent vouchers to low-income populations. This paper examines the effect of such voucher receipt on criminal activity. To overcome bias due to selection into the program, we exploit the exogenous variation in lottery-assigned wait-list positions in order to identify the causal effects of the vouchers. Using administrative arrest records, we find voucher receipt has no effect on the likelihood of all arrests, and arrests for drug and financially motivated crimes, but increases the probability of violent crime arrests.

Keywords: Housing Vouchers, Section 8, Crime, Neighborhood Effects, Income Shocks

JEL Classification: I38, K42, R23

Suggested Citation

Carr, Jillian B. and Koppa, Vijetha, Housing Vouchers, Income Shocks, and Crime: Evidence from a Lottery (May 5, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2997421

Jillian B. Carr

Purdue University - Krannert School of Management ( email )

1310 Krannert Building
West Lafayette, IN 47907-1310
United States

Vijetha Koppa (Contact Author)

Stephen F. Austin State University - Department of Economics and Finance ( email )

Box 13009, SFA Station
Nacogdoches, TX 75962
United States

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