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Eviction and Poverty in American Cities

Winnie van Dijk, Robert Collinson (), John Humphries, Nicholas Mader, Davin Reed and Daniel Tannenbaum
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Winnie van Dijk: The University of Chicago
Robert Collinson: University of Notre Dame

No 2022-24, Working Papers from Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group

Abstract: More than two million U.S. households have an eviction case filed against them each year. Policymakers at the federal, state, and local levels are increasingly pursuing policies to reduce the number of evictions, citing harm to tenants and high public expenditures related to homelessness. We study the consequences of eviction for tenants using newly linked administrative data from two large cities. We document that prior to housing court, tenants experience declines in earnings and employment and increases in financial distress and hospital visits. These pre-trends are more pronounced for tenants who are evicted, which poses a challenge for disentangling correlation and causation. To address this problem, we use an instrumental variables approach based on cases randomly assigned to judges of varying leniency. We find that an eviction order increases homelessness, and reduces earnings, durable consumption, and access to credit. Effects on housing and labor market outcomes are driven by impacts for female and Black tenants.

Keywords: eviction; homelessness; poverty; tenant protections; rental housing markets (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H00 I30 J01 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022-08
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-lab and nep-ure
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Working Paper: Eviction and Poverty in American Cities (2022) Downloads
Working Paper: Eviction and Poverty in American Cities (2022) Downloads
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