The Economics of Housing Vouchers

The Economics of Housing Vouchers

1st Edition - January 28, 1982

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  • Authors: Joseph Friedman, Daniel H. Weinberg
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483260433

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The Economics of Housing Vouchers is a seven-chapter text that examines the housing choices of low-income families in two metropolitan areas, namely, Phoenix and Pittsburgh. Some of these households are offered a novel kind of housing subsidy, including a housing allowance or housing voucher, in an experimental framework designed to test this approach to demand-side housing assistance. Chapter 1 presents an overview of U.S. housing programs and the dimensions of the U.S. housing problem. Chapter 2 provides a simple microeconomic model that conceptualizes household behavior, as well as a summary of some of the extant evidence on housing demand. This chapter also estimates the housing demand models for the low-income population in the Demand Experiment, using housing expenditures to measure housing. Chapter 3 applies a hedonic index of housing services that abstracts from particular characteristics of the household or landlord that may affect rent and attempts to measure housing in a more objective manner. Chapter 4 describes a model of household behavior that leads to the methodology for estimating experimental effects. Chapter 5 repeats the analysis for Minimum Rent households, while Chapter 6 examines the effect of both kinds of Housing Gap allowance payment on the consumption of housing services. Lastly, Chapter 7 focuses on the implications of the experimental findings for housing policy. This chapter compares a housing allowance strategy with two other approaches, namely, a pure income-transfer approach and a construction-oriented approach. This book is of value to workers in housing policy, including economists, regional and other social scientists in academia, housing analysts, the Congress, housing lobby groups, and state and local government housing officials.

Table of Contents

  • Preface


    Chapter 1 Introduction

    The Evolution of Housing Programs

    The U.S. Housing Problem

    The Housing Allowance Demand Experiment

    Chapter 2 The Demand for Rental Housing

    A Microeconomic Model of Housing Demand

    Evidence from Recent Empirical Estimates of Housing Demand

    Expenditure Changes for Percent of Rent Households

    Econometric Estimates of Demand Parameters

    The Effect of Demographic Variables

    Dynamic Models of Housing Demand


    Chapter 3 The Demand for Housing Services

    An Explanation of Hedonic Indices

    Hedonic Indices for the Demand Experiment Sites

    Demand Functions for Housing Services

    Analysis of The Hedonic Residual

    Demographic Stratification


    Chapter 4 The Effect of Minimum Standards Housing Allowances on Housing Consumption

    Meeting a Physical Housing Requirement

    A Model of Household Behavior

    Actual Changes in Housing Consumption

    Econometric Estimation


    Chapter 5 The Effect of Minimum Rent Housing Allowances on Housing Consumption

    Overview of Housing Changes

    Rent Changes Induced by the Minimum Rent Plans

    Results for Movers


    Chapter 6 The Effect of Housing Gap Allowances on the Consumption of Housing Services

    Allowance Effects on Overpayment

    Allowance Effects on the Consumption of Housing Services


    Chapter 7 Policy Implications

    Cash Transfers Versus Housing Assistance

    Other Housing Outcomes

    Existing Housing Programs


    Appendix I Design of the Demand Experiment

    Data Collection

    Allowance Plans Used in the Demand Experiment

    Key Variables

    Appendix II Selection Bias in Price Elasticity Estimates

    Appendix III The Methodology for Estimating the Experimental Effects on Housing Gap Households

    Predicting Normal Housing Consumption

    Specification of Selection Bias

    Appendix IV Additional Tables

    Appendix V Intraurban Residential Mobility: The Role of Transactions Costs, Market Imperfections, and Household Disequilibrium

    A Microeconomic Model of Search and Mobility

    Benefit and Cost Measurement

    Estimation of a Benefit-Cost Model of Search and Mobility




Product details

  • No. of pages: 236
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 1982
  • Published: January 28, 1982
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483260433

About the Authors

Joseph Friedman

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor of Clinical Neurosciences, Brown University School of Medicine, Providence, RI; Adjunct Professor of Neurology, University of Rhode Island, School of Pharmacy, Providence, RI; Chief of Neurology, Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island, Pawtucket, RI

Daniel H. Weinberg

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