John Haltiwanger on the Long-term Benefits of Housing Assistance Programs
Professor John Haltiwanger’s recent working paper, titled “Childhood Housing and Adult Earnings: A Between-Siblings Analysis of Housing Vouchers and Public Housing,” was highlighted in a Washington Post story. The paper examines the long-term effects on children whose families lived in public housing or received housing vouchers. Both types of assistance had significant benefits for poor children, raising their future earnings and lessening the chance of their being incarcerated later in life. Interestingly, the benefits estimated for public housing are virtually equivalent to those estimated for vouchers. While public housing may have its issues, these findings suggest that shifting recipients of public housing to Section 8 voucher programs is by no means a panacea.