Valentina Duque, University of Sydney - The Effects of Free Public Housing on Children

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Melbourne Institute Seminar



Title: The Effects of Free Public Housing on Children

Co-authors: Adriana Camacho, Michael Gilraine, and Fabio Sanchez)

Abstract: This paper analyses the effect of Colombia's ambitious "Free Housing" program on children's educational outcomes. The program was generous, giving free housing units to beneficiaries. We evaluate the program by leveraging housing unit lotteries and linking lottery applicants to their children's education data. We find that receiving free public housing increases high school graduation rates by six percentage points, a fifteen percent increase relative to the control mean. Contrary to other well-known housing programs, the "Free Housing" program both provided adequate housing and was purposefully located in desirable areas. We show that much of the gain in graduation rates can be attributed to the better schools attended by lottery winners.

Presenter: Valentina Duque, University of Sydney

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