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Women's Homelessness: International Evidence on Causes, Consequences, Coping and Policies


  • Johnson, Guy

    (RMIT University)

  • Ribar, David C.

    () (University of Melbourne)

  • Zhu, Anna

    () (University of Melbourne)


This paper reviews international evidence regarding women's homelessness. It discusses different definitions of homelessness and how women are frequently part of the "hidden homeless" population and less a part of the unsheltered homeless population. It also considers the data that are used to enumerate and study homeless people. The structural, personal, and random causes of homelessness are discussed, with evidence pointing to highly gendered patterns. The paper also describes the consequences of women's homelessness, including the consequences for children, and the material and psychological coping strategies that homeless people employ. It considers policies to reduce homelessness and ameliorate its problems.

Suggested Citation

  • Johnson, Guy & Ribar, David C. & Zhu, Anna, 2017. "Women's Homelessness: International Evidence on Causes, Consequences, Coping and Policies," IZA Discussion Papers 10614, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10614

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Herault, Nicolas & Ribar, David C., 2017. "Food insecurity and homelessness in the Journeys Home survey," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 52-66.
    2. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2013.301618_5 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Herault, Nicolas & Scutella, Rosanna & Tseng, Yi-Ping, 2016. "A journey home: What drives how long people are homeless?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 57-72.
    4. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1998:88:11:1651-1657_8 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1997:87:2:241-248_5 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. McVicar, Duncan & Moschion, Julie & van Ours, Jan C., 2015. "From substance use to homelessness or vice versa?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 136, pages 89-98.
    7. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2010.300098_8 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Allgood, Sam & Warren, Ronald Jr., 2003. "The duration of homelessness: evidence from a national survey," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 273-290, December.
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    More about this item


    policies; hidden homeless; children; women; homelessness; coping strategies;

    JEL classification:

    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General
    • 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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