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Being Homeless: Evidence from Italy


  • M. Braga
  • L. Corno

    () (Università degli studi di Milano
    University College London)


Homelessness represents the most extreme form of poverty in industrialized countries and a critical consequence of economic crisis. The economic research on homelessness is almost non-existent because of the lack of reliable data. By interviewing homeless people in Milan and with a response rate of 62%, this paper presents and discusses the results of the first representative survey in Europe among the homeless. We find an overwhelming majority of divorced males in the central part of their life. Respondents indicate unemployment and breakdowns in family relationships as the main reasons for their status. Further, almost one third of the sample works, suggesting a possible reintegration of unemployed homeless in the labour market. Unconditional welfare assistance is correlated with labour market inactivity and longer homelessness spells.

Suggested Citation

  • M. Braga & L. Corno, 2011. "Being Homeless: Evidence from Italy," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 70(3), pages 33-73, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:gde:journl:gde_v70_n3_p33-73

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    Cited by:

    1. Rosanna Scutella & Guy Johnson, 2012. "Locating and Designing 'Journeys Home': A Literature Review (Journeys Home: A Longitudinal Study of Factors Affecting Housing Stability)," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2012n11, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    2. Jarvis, Justin, 2015. "Individual determinants of homelessness: A descriptive approach," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 23-32.
    3. 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.

    More about this item


    Homelessness; Original Survey; S-night approach;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty


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