Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

The Local Economic Effects of Public Housing in the United States, 1940–1970

  • Katharine L. Shester (a1)
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0022050713000855
  • Published online: 15 November 2013
Abstract

Between 1933 and 1973 the federal government funded the construction of over 1 million units of low-rent housing. Using county-level data, I find that communities with high densities of public housing had lower median family income, lower median property values, lower population density, and a higher percentage of families with low income in 1970. However, I find no negative effects of public housing in 1950 or 1960, implying that long-run negative effects only became apparent in the 1960s. The effects found in 1970 are partially due to a decline in human capital.

Copyright
Footnotes
Hide All

The author gratefully acknowledges helpful insights from the editor Paul Rhode, two anonymous referees, William J. Collins, Samuel K. Allen, Jeremy Atack, George Ehrhardt, Daniel Fetter, Price Fishback, Malcolm Getz, Arthur H. Goldsmith, A. Joseph Guse, Cindy Kam, Gregory T. Niemesh, Edgar O. Olsen, John J. Siegfried, and Helen Yang; and suggestions from seminar participants at the Southern Economic Association Meetings (2011), the Appalachian Spring World History and Economics Conference (2012), the Cliometrics Conference (2012), Yale University (2012), the Washington Area Economic History Group (2012), and Washington and Lee University (2012). Part of this research was supported by Vanderbilt University's Social Science Dissertation Fellowship and by Washington and Lee University's Lenfest Summer Grant.

Footnotes
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Joseph G. Altonji , Todd E. Elder , and Christopher R. Taber . “Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools.” Journal of Political Economy 113, no. 1 (2005): 151–84.

John Bellows , and Edward Miguel . “War and Local Collective Action in Sierra Leone.” Journal of Public Economics 93, no. 11 (2009): 1144–57.

William J. Collins , and Robert A. Margo . “Residential Segregation and Socioeconomic Outcomes: When Did Ghettos Go Bad?Economic Letters 69, no. 2 (2000): 239–43.

Julie Berry Cullen , and Steven D. Levitt . “Crime, Urban Flight, and the Consequences for Cities.” The Review of Economics and Statistics 81, no. 2 (1999): 159–69.

Janet Currie , and Aaron Yelowitz . “Are Public Housing Projects Good for Kids?Journal of Public Economics 75, no. 1 (2000): 99124.

David M. Cutler , and Edward L. Glaeser . “Are Ghettos Good or Bad?The Quarterly Journal of Economics 112, no. 3 (1997): 827–72.

Ingrid Gould Ellen , Amy Ellen Schwartz , Ioan Voicu , and Michael H. Schill . “Does Federally Subsidized Rental Housing Depress Neighborhood Property Values?Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 26, no. 2 (2007): 257–80.

Gayle. Epp Emerging Strategies for Revitalizing Public Housing Communities.” Housing Policy Debate 7, no. 3 (1996): 563–88.

Lawrence M. Friedman Public Housing and the Poor: An Overview.” California Law Review 54 (1966): 642–69.

Brian A. Jacob Public Housing, Housing Vouchers, and Student Achievement: Evidence from Public Housing Demolitions in Chicago.” American Economic Review 94, no. 1 (2004): 233–58.

Brian A. Jacob , and Jens Ludwig . “The Effects of Housing Assistance on Labor Supply: Evidence from a Voucher Lottery.” American Economic Review 102, no. 1 (2012): 272304.

Lawrence F. Katz , Jeffrey R. Kling , and Jeffrey B. Liebman . “Moving to Opportunity in Boston: Early Results of a Randomized Mobility Experiment.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 116, no. 2 (2001): 607–54.

Jeffrey R. Kling , Jeffrey B. Liebman , and Lawrence F. Katz . “Experimental Analysis of Neighborhood Effects.” Econometrica 75, no. 1 (2007): 83119.

Chang-Moo Lee , Dennis P. Culhane , and Susan M. Wachter . “The Differential Impacts of Federally Assisted Housing Programs on Nearby Property Values: A Philadelphia Case Study.” Housing Policy Debate 10, no. 2 (1999): 7593.

Thomas L. McNulty , and Steven R. Holloway . “Race, Crime, and Public Housing in Atlanta: Testing a Conditional Effect Hypothesis.” Social Forces 79, no. 2 (2000): 707–29.

Hugh O. Nourse The Effect of Public Housing on Property Values in St. Louis.” Land Economics 39, no. 4 (1963): 433–41.

Edgar O. Olsen Housing Programs for Low-Income Households.” In Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, edited by Robert Moffitt , 365442. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003.

Edgar O. Olsen , and David M. Barton . “The Benefits and Costs of Public Housing in New York City.” Journal of Public Economics 20, no. 3 (1983): 299332.

Philip. Oreopoulos The Long-Run Consequences of Living in a Poor Neighborhood.” The Quarterly Journal of Economics 118, no. 4 (2003): 1533–75.

Emily. Oster Unobservable Selection and Coefficient Stability: Theory and Validation.” Working Paper, University of Chicago Booth School of Business, August 15, 2013.

Gary. Painter Does Variation in Public Housing Waiting Lists Induce Intra-Urban Mobility.” Journal of Housing Economics 6, no. 3 (1997): 248–76.

Susan J. Popkin , James E. Rosenbaum , and Patricia M. Meaden . “Labor Market Experiences of Low-Income Black Women in Middle-Class Suburbs: Evidence from a Survey of Gautreaux Program Participants.” Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 12, no. 3 (1993): 556–73.

William A. Rabiega , Ta-Win Lin , and Linda M. Robinson . “The Property Value Impacts of Public Housing Projects in Low and Moderate Density.” Land Economics 60, no. 2 (1984): 174–79.

Gail. Radford Modern Housing for America: Policy Struggles in the New Deal Era. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1996.

Jennifer. Roback Wages, Rents, and the Quality of Life.” Journal of Political Economy 90, no. 6 (1982): 1257–78.

James E. Rosenbaum Changing the Geography of Opportunity by Expanding Residential Choice: Lessons from the Gautreaux Program.” Housing Policy Debate 6, no. 1 (1995): 231–70.

Esteben Rossi-Hansberg , Pierre-Daniel Sarte , and Raymond Owens III . “Housing Externalities.” Journal of Political Economy 118, no. 3 (2010): 485535.

Ann B. Schnare The Preservation Needs of Public Housing.” Housing Policy Debate 2, no. 2 (1991): 289306.

Amy Ellen Schwartz , Ingrid Gould Ellen , Ioan Voicu , and Michael H. Schill . “The External Effects of Place-Based Subsidized Housing.” Regional Science and Urban Economics 36, no. 6 (2006): 679707.

Todd Sinai , and Joel Waldfogel . “Do Low-Income Housing Subsidies Increase the Occupied Housing Stock?Journal of Public Economics 89, no. 11–12 (2005): 2137–64.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The Journal of Economic History
  • ISSN: 0022-0507
  • EISSN: 1471-6372
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-economic-history
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×