Eviction and Poverty in American Cities

54 Pages Posted: 22 Aug 2022 Last revised: 8 Jul 2023

See all articles by Robert Collinson

Robert Collinson

University of Notre Dame

John Eric Humphries

Yale University - Department of Economics

Nicholas Mader

Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago

Davin Reed

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Daniel I Tannenbaum

University of Nebraska at Lincoln - Department of Economics

Winnie van Dijk

Harvard University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 2022

Abstract

More than two million U.S. households have an eviction case filed against them each year. Policymakers at the federal, state, and local levels are increasingly pursuing policies to reduce the number of evictions, citing harm to tenants and high public expenditures related to homelessness. We study the consequences of eviction for tenants using newly linked administrative data from two major urban areas: Cook County (which includes Chicago) and New York City. We document that prior to housing court, tenants experience declines in earnings and employment and increases in financial distress and hospital visits. These pre-trends pose a challenge for disentangling correlation and causation. To address this problem, we use an instrumental variables approach based on cases randomly assigned to judges of varying leniency. We find that an eviction order increases homelessness and hospital visits and reduces earnings, durable goods consumption, and access to credit in the first two years. Effects on housing and labor market outcomes are driven by impacts for female and Black tenants. In the longer-run, eviction increases indebtedness and reduces credit scores.

Suggested Citation

Collinson, Robert and Humphries, John Eric and Mader, Nicholas and Reed, Davin and Tannenbaum, Daniel I and van Dijk, Winnie, Eviction and Poverty in American Cities (August 2022). NBER Working Paper No. w30382, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4196326

Robert Collinson (Contact Author)

University of Notre Dame ( email )

361 Mendoza College of Business
Notre Dame, IN 46556-5646
United States

John Eric Humphries

Yale University - Department of Economics ( email )

28 Hillhouse Ave
New Haven, CT 06520-8268
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.johnerichumphries.com

Nicholas Mader

Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago ( email )

1313 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Davin Reed

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia ( email )

Ten Independence Mall
Philadelphia, PA 19106-1574
United States

Daniel I Tannenbaum

University of Nebraska at Lincoln - Department of Economics ( email )

Lincoln, NE 68588-0489
United States

Winnie Van Dijk

Harvard University

Littauer Center of Public Administration
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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