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When warm and cold don’t mix: The implications of climate for the determinants of homelessness

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  • Corinth, Kevin
  • Lucas, David S.

Abstract

It is widely understood that climate affects the spatial distribution of homelessness—warm places have on average higher rates of unsheltered homelessness than cold places. A less recognized fact is that variation in rates of unsheltered homelessness is higher in warm places as well. We document this fact using quantile regression techniques and show that it has important implications for estimating the determinants of homelessness across communities. In particular, housing prices, poverty rates and religiosity are much more strongly associated with rates of unsheltered homelessness in warm places than in cold places. As an alternative to splitting the sample, we find that logarithmic transformations of rates of unsheltered homelessness can be reliably used in a pooled sample. Associations between total homelessness and important covariates also vary across warm and cold places, in this case in terms of both rates and logarithms. Ultimately, future research should carefully account for climate when estimating the determinants of homelessness.

Suggested Citation

  • Corinth, Kevin & Lucas, David S., 2018. "When warm and cold don’t mix: The implications of climate for the determinants of homelessness," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 45-56.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhouse:v:41:y:2018:i:c:p:45-56
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jhe.2018.01.001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Corinth, Kevin, 2017. "The impact of permanent supportive housing on homeless populations," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 69-84.
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    Cited by:

    1. O'Flaherty, Brendan, 2019. "Homelessness research: A guide for economists (and friends)," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 1-25.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Homelessness; Climate; Measurement; Religion;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R28 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Government Policy

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