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Economic Resources Of The Homeless: Evidence From Los Angeles

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  • ROBERT F. SCHOENI
  • PAUL KOEGEL

Abstract

This paper examines the economic resources of homeless adults using a unique data set from Los Angeles. The homeless rely on a variety of sources for income; the two most common sources are the government and the family. Over 58% received government transfers in the 30 days prior to the interview, while one-third had received cash assistance from a family member or friend. Familial transfers in the form of shared housing and meals also are important. While familial transfers buffer declines in income among the homeless, private support networks are not pervasive enough to overcome the severe difficulties the homeless face. Moreover, it is unclear why such a high share of the homeless do not participate in government assistance programs, although the evidence suggests that transaction costs are likely to be an important factor. Copyright 1998 Western Economic Association International.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert F. Schoeni & Paul Koegel, 1998. "Economic Resources Of The Homeless: Evidence From Los Angeles," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 16(3), pages 295-308, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:coecpo:v:16:y:1998:i:3:p:295-308
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    File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1465-7287.1998.tb00520.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    7. Michael R. Cousineau & Thomas W. Ward, 1992. "An Evaluation of the S-Night Street Enumeration of the Homeless in Los Angeles," Evaluation Review, , vol. 16(4), pages 389-399, August.
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    9. Moffitt, Robert, 1983. "An Economic Model of Welfare Stigma," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 1023-1035, December.
    10. Cox, Donald, 1987. "Motives for Private Income Transfers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 508-546, June.
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    14. Hutchens, Robert M, 1979. "Welfare, Remarriage, and Marital Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(3), pages 369-379, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sylvain Chareyron, 2015. "Take-up of social assistance benefits: The case of homeless Take-up of Social Assistance Benefits: The Case of Homeless," Working Papers hal-01292107, HAL.
    2. Shinichiro Iwata & Koji Karato, 2007. "Homeless Networks: Testing Peer and Homed Networks Against Location Choice," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-522, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
    3. 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.

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