Economics Working Papers

Publication Date

5-13-2016

Number

16004

Abstract

While subsidized low-income housing construction provides affordable living conditions for poor households, many observers worry that building low-income housing in poor communities induces individuals to move to poor neighborhoods. We examine this issue using detailed, nationally representative microdata constructed from linked decennial censuses. Our analysis exploits exogenous variation in low-income housing supply induced by program eligibility rules for Low-Income Housing Tax Credits to estimate the effect of subsidized housing on neighborhood mobility patterns. The results indicate little evidence to suggest a causal effect of additional low-income housing construction on the characteristics of neighborhoods to which households move. This result is true for households across the income distribution, and supports the hypothesis that subsidized housing provides affordable living conditions without encouraging households to move to less-affluent neighborhoods than they would have otherwise.

JEL Classification

H20, H31, I32, R23

File Format

application/pdf

Length

49 pages

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