Kevin Corinth, Bruce Meyer, Angela Wyse, 25 July 2021

Data on the US homeless population are sorely lacking, leaving key questions about their number, deprivation and mobility unanswered. This column introduces a new dataset that sheds new light on these questions by linking a census of the entire US homeless population with administrative tax and government programme data. One finding the data reveal is that while many homeless individuals work and the vast majority are connected to the social safety net, they nonetheless fail to see improvements in economic wellbeing over more than a decade. 

Thiemo Fetzer, Srinjoy Sen, Pedro Souza, 27 February 2020

Homelessness and precarious living conditions are on the rise across much of the Western world. This column examines the impact of a shock to the affordability of rent in the private sector in the UK, in the form of a cut in housing subsidies for low-income households, on homelessness and insecure living conditions as well as on democratic participation. The findings suggest that the cut was, to a large extent, a false economy. The net fiscal savings for the central government were markedly offset by significantly higher local government spending to meet statutory obligations for prevention of homelessness. The cut also led to widespread distress among benefit claimants, some of whom went into rent arrears and were forcefully displaced from their homes.


CEPR Policy Research