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The Incidence of UK Housing Benefit: Evidence from the 1990s Reforms

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  • Steve Gibbons
  • Alan Manning

Abstract

Housing Benefit (HB) in the UK subsidizes the rent of tenants in both the private and public sectors. Its share in total welfare benefits has risen markedly through time and there is widespread dissatisfaction with it. But, reform has been very slow. One important issue is the extent to which the incidence of HB is actually on the tenants. Exploiting two data sets from the mid-1990s when the subsidy regime changed for some tenants but not for others, this paper explores the incidence. We find that some of the incidence is on landlords though our two data sets differ in the extent to which this is true. We also find evidence in support of a ¿matching¿ model of the rental market rather tha n a perfectly competitive one.

Suggested Citation

  • Steve Gibbons & Alan Manning, 2003. "The Incidence of UK Housing Benefit: Evidence from the 1990s Reforms," CEP Discussion Papers dp0597, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0597
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gibbons, Stephen & Manning, Alan, 2006. "The incidence of UK housing benefit: Evidence from the 1990s reforms," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 799-822, May.
    2. Wheaton, William C, 1990. "Vacancy, Search, and Prices in a Housing Market Matching Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1270-1292, December.
    3. Todd Sinai & Joel Waldfogel, "undated". "Do Low Income Housing Subsidies Increase Housing Consumption?," Zell/Lurie Center Working Papers 394, Wharton School Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center, University of Pennsylvania.
    4. Edgar O. Olsen, 2003. "Housing Programs for Low-Income Households," NBER Chapters, in: Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, pages 365-442, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Susin, Scott, 2002. "Rent vouchers and the price of low-income housing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 109-152, January.
    6. Gabrielle Fack, 2005. "Pourquoi les ménages pauvres paient-ils des loyers de plus en plus élevés ? [L’incidence des aides au logement en France (1973-2002)]," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 381(1), pages 17-40.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Housing Subsidies; Tax Incidence;

    JEL classification:

    • H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence
    • R31 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Housing Supply and Markets

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