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.