NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Moving to Opportunity or Isolation? Network Effects of a Randomized Housing Lottery in Urban India

Sharon Barnhardt, Erica Field, Rohini Pande

NBER Working Paper No. 21419
Issued in July 2015
NBER Program(s):Development Economics

A housing lottery in an Indian city provided winning slum dwellers the opportunity to move into improved housing on the city’s periphery. Fourteen years later, relative to lottery losers, winners report improved housing farther from the city center, but no change in family income or human capital. Winners also report increased isolation from family and caste networks and lower access to informal insurance. We observe significant program exit: 34% of winners never moved into the subsidized housing and 32% eventually exited. Our results point to the importance of considering social networks when designing housing programs for the poor.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w21419

Published: Sharon Barnhardt & Erica Field & Rohini Pande, 2017. "Moving to Opportunity or Isolation? Network Effects of a Randomized Housing Lottery in Urban India," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 1-32, January. citation courtesy of

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