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Homeless In America, Homeless In California

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Author Info

  • John M. Quigley
  • Steven Raphael
  • Eugene Smolensky

Abstract

It is generally believed that the increased incidence of homelessness in the United States has arisen from broad societal factors, such as changes in the institutionalization of the mentally ill, increases in drug addiction and alcohol usage, and so forth. This paper presents a comprehensive test of the alternate hypothesis that variations in homelessness arise from changed circumstances in the housing market and in the income distribution. We assemble essentially all the systematic information available on homelessness in U.S. urban areas: census counts, shelter bed counts, records of transfer payments, and administrative agency estimates. We estimate similar statistical models using four different samples of data on the incidence of homelessness, defined according to very different criteria. Our results suggest that simple economic principles governing the availability and pricing of housing and the growth in demand for the lowest-quality housing explain a large portion of the variation in homelessness among U.S. metropolitan housing markets. Furthermore, rather modest improvements in the affordability of rental housing or its availability can substantially reduce the incidence of homelessness in the United States. © 2000 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 83 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 37-51

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:83:y:2001:i:1:p:37-51

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Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/

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References

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  1. Mansur, Erin & Quigley, John M. & Raphael, Steven & Smolensky, Eugene, 2003. "Examining Policies to Reduce Homelessness Using a General Equilibrium Model of the Housing Market," Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series qt11j6s62t, Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy.
  2. Honig, Marjorie & Filer, Randall K, 1993. "Causes of Intercity Variation in Homelessness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 248-55, March.
  3. Early, Dirk W. & Olsen, Edgar O., 1998. "Rent control and homelessness," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 797-816, November.
  4. Stuart A. Gabriel & Joe P. Mattey & William L. Wascher, 1999. "House price differentials and dynamics: evidence from the Los Angeles and San Francisco metropolitan areas," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 3-22.
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Cited by:
  1. Quigley, John M. & Raphael, Steven, 2004. "Is Housing Unaffordable? Why Isn't It More Affordable?," Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series qt1vp9j3k0, Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy.
  2. John M. Quigley, Steven Raphael, 2001. "The Economics Of Homelessness: The Evidence From North America," European Journal of Housing Policy, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 1(3), pages 323-336, December.
  3. Katherine Cuff & Nicolas Marceau, 2007. "Equilibrium Excess Demand in the Rental Housing Market (revised)," Cahiers de recherche 0744, CIRPEE.
  4. Lucia Corno, 2012. "Peer Effects on Criminal Behavior. Evidence from the homeless," Norface Discussion Paper Series 2012015, Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London.
  5. Mansur, Erin T. & Quigley, John M. & Raphael, Steven & Smolensky, Eugene, 2002. "Examining policies to reduce homelessness using a general equilibrium model of the housing market," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 316-340, September.
  6. Gundersen, Craig & Weinreb, Linda & Wehler, Cheryl & Hosmer, David, 2003. "Homelessness and food insecurity," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 250-272, September.
  7. Allgood, Sam & Warren, Ronald Jr., 2003. "The duration of homelessness: evidence from a national survey," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 273-290, December.
  8. Early Dirk W. & Olsen Edgar O., 2002. "Subsidized Housing, Emergency Shelters, and Homelessness: An Empirical Investigation Using Data from the 1990 Census," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-36, August.
  9. Kröll, Alexandra & Farhauer, Oliver, 2012. "Examining the roots of homelessness: The impact of regional housing market conditions and the social environment on homelessness in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany," IAB Discussion Paper 201213, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  10. Boehm, Thomas P. & Schlottmann, Alan, 2006. "A comparison of household mobility for owned manufactured, traditional owned, and rental units using the American Housing Survey," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 126-142, June.
  11. Alicia Sasser & Bo Zhao & Darcy Rollins & Robert Tannenwald, 2006. "The lack of affordable housing in New England: how big a problem?: why is it growing?: what are we doing about it?," New England Public Policy Center Working Paper 06-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  12. Quigley, John M. & Raphael, Steven & Smolensky, Eugene, 2001. "Homelessness in California," Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series qt2pg3f4ns, Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy.
  13. O'Flaherty, Brendan, 2004. "Wrong person and wrong place: for homelessness, the conjunction is what matters," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 1-15, March.

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