“Source of Income Discrimination and the Housing Choice Voucher Program”
Source of income (SOI) housing policies prohibit discrimination against prospective renters on the basis of the source of income they report on rental applications. Such policies, which have been implemented in 20 states and more than 100 local jurisdictions as of 2021, are primarily intended to prevent discrimination against applicants receiving public assistance, but these policies vary in terms of the particular sources of income they cover. In this paper, I examine the effects of SOI policies which explicitly protect housing choice vouchers as a protected source of income. Using county- and housing agency-level data, I exploit time-variation in the implementation of SOI policies across jurisdictions to identify the effects of these policies on renters using housing choice vouchers and the local housing agencies that administer the voucher program. I find that such policies are associated with reductions in average wait times prior to moving into rental units for voucher recipients. Additionally, I provide evidence that SOI policies increase the fraction of vouchers under lease for housing agencies with lower average utilization rates. These findings are robust to the implementation of alternative estimation strategies proposed in light of recent concerns about the internal validity of the traditional OLS with two-way fixed effects approach to estimation for difference-in-differences research designs.
• Accepted for presentation at WEAI’s Summer 2020 Conference
“Measuring Take-up of the California EITC with State Administrative Data” (2023) with John Iselin and Matthew Unrath; accepted for publication in the Journal of Public Economics.
• Click here a policy brief on this paper from California Policy Lab
“Driver’s Licenses for Unauthorized Immigrants and Auto Insurance” (2021) with Brandyn Churchill and Bing Yang Tan in Contemporary Economic Policy 39(1):107-125.
• Click here for a non-technical discussion of this paper
“The Effect of E-Verify Laws on Crime” (2021) with Brandyn Churchill, Andrew Dickinson, and Joseph J. Sabia in ILR Review 75(5): 1294-1320.
“Detecting Community Response to Water Quality Violations using Bottled Water Sales” (2019) with Maura Allaire, Shuyan Zheng, and Upmanu Lall in PNAS 116(42): 20917-20922.
“Minimum Cash Wages, Tipped Restaurant Workers, and Poverty” (2018) with Joseph J. Sabia and Richard V. Burkhauser in Industrial Relations 57(4): 637-670.
“The California Children Who May Miss the 2021 Federal Child Tax Credit” (2021) policy brief written with Elsa Augustine, Aparna Ramesh and Matt Unrath for California Policy Lab.