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Homeless in America, Homeless in California

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  • Quigley, John M.
  • Raphael, Steven
  • Smolensky, Eugene

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.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy in its series Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series with number qt4v61c0ws.

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Date of creation: 03 Apr 2002
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:bphupl:qt4v61c0ws

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Keywords: Social and Behavioral Sciences;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. Early, Dirk W. & Olsen, Edgar O., 1998. "Rent control and homelessness," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 797-816, November.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Early, Dirk W., 2004. "The determinants of homelessness and the targeting of housing assistance," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 195-214, January.
  3. Quigley, John M. & Raphael, Steven, 2002. "The Economics of Homelessness: The Evidence from North America," Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series qt2dw8b4r3, Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Lucia Corno, 2012. "Peer Effects on Criminal Behavior. Evidence from the homeless," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1204, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  7. 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.
  8. Early, Dirk W., 2005. "An empirical investigation of the determinants of street homelessness," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 27-47, March.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Alexandra Kröll & Oliver Farhauer, 2012. "Examining the Roots of Homelessness - The Impact of Regional Housing Market Conditions and the Social Environment on Homelessness in Germany," ERSA conference papers ersa12p370, European Regional Science Association.
  12. 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].
  13. Katherine Cuff & Nicolas Marceau, 2007. "Equilibrium Excess Demand in the Rental Housing Market (revised)," Cahiers de recherche 0744, CIRPEE.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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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