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A new beginning: The effect of the free housing program on the quality of life of beneficiary households

Author

Listed:
  • Adriana Camacho-González
  • Jorge Enrique Caputo-Leyva
  • Fabio Sánchez-Torres

Abstract

This paper analyzes the effect of the Free Housing Program (PVG) on the well-being of beneficiary households. This program is an initiative of the Colombian Government to provide free houses to the most vulnerable households in the country. To estimate causal impacts of the program, we exploit that 38% of the beneficiaries were selected through housing lotteries. We show that most of recipients still reside in the houses provided in the program (5-6 years after the housing lotteries), which have adequate conditions of structure, space, and access to public services. Also, we show that program improves the labor conditions of beneficiary households, either through greater labor participation (in women), or by changing the type of work or economic sector (in men) and even earning more income (both). As a result of the previous impacts, the beneficiary households were able to restructure their expenses, acquire more durable goods, save more money, and escape extreme poverty. The main mechanism that explains these results is that the beneficiaries were relocated to places with a greater provision of public goods, closer proximity to complementary services and more economic activity.

Suggested Citation

  • Adriana Camacho-González & Jorge Enrique Caputo-Leyva & Fabio Sánchez-Torres, 2022. "A new beginning: The effect of the free housing program on the quality of life of beneficiary households," Documentos CEDE 20303, Universidad de los Andes, Facultad de Economía, CEDE.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000089:020303
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    free public housing; poverty; employment; income;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • R28 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Government Policy
    • 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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