The Effects of Public Housing on Children: Evidence from Colombia

56 Pages Posted: 30 May 2022 Last revised: 19 Sep 2022

See all articles by Adriana Camacho

Adriana Camacho

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics

Valentina Duque

Boston College - Center for Retirement Research

Michael Gilraine

New York University (NYU) - Department of Economics

Fabio Sánchez

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics

Date Written: May 2022

Abstract

We analyze the effect of Colombia's ambitious "Free Housing" program on children's educational outcomes. The program was generous, giving free housing to beneficiaries in desirable areas. We evaluate the program by leveraging housing lotteries and linking applicants to their children. We find that public housing increases high school graduation by seven percentage points – a seventeen percent increase relative to the control mean – and boosts exit exam scores and college-going. Using a survey to explore mechanisms, lottery winners report better environmental conditions and shorter commute times. Their children also attend better schools and live in neighborhoods with less crime.

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Suggested Citation

Camacho, Adriana and Duque, Valentina and Gilraine, Michael and Sánchez Torres, Fabio, The Effects of Public Housing on Children: Evidence from Colombia (May 2022). NBER Working Paper No. w30090, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4122819

Adriana Camacho (Contact Author)

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics ( email )

Carrera 1a No. 18A-10
Santafe de Bogota, AA4976
Colombia

Valentina Duque

Boston College - Center for Retirement Research ( email )

Fulton Hall 550
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
United States

Michael Gilraine

New York University (NYU) - Department of Economics ( email )

19 West 4th Street
New York, NY 10012
United States

Fabio Sánchez Torres

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics ( email )

Carrera 1a No. 18A-10
Santafe de Bogota, AA4976
Colombia
+57 1 332 4495 (Phone)
+57 1 332 4492 (Fax)

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