NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

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

Brian A. Jacob, Jens Ludwig

NBER Working Paper No. 14570
Issued in December 2008
NBER Program(s):   CH   ED   LS   PE

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.

download in pdf format
   (929 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (929 K) or via email.

Acknowledgments

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w14570

Published: Jacob, Brian A., and Jens Ludwig. 2012. "The Effects of Housing Assistance on Labor Supply: Evidence from a Voucher Lottery." American Economic Review, 102(1): 272-304. DOI: 10.1257/aer.102.1.272

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Newhouse w8531 Medicare Policy in the 1990s
Hotz and Scholz w8078 The Earned Income Tax Credit
Olsen w8208 Housing Programs for Low-Income Households
Jacob, Ludwig, and Miller w17369 The Effects of Housing and Neighborhood Conditions on Child Mortality
Jacob w9652 Public Housing, Housing Vouchers and Student Achievement: Evidence from Public Housing Demolitions in Chicago
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us