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Subsidized Housing and the Transition to Adulthood



Despite abundant evidence about the effect of children’s socioeconomic circumstances on their transition to adulthood, we know much less about the effect of social policy programs aimed at poor families with children in facilitating how and when children become adults. This issue is particularly important for the U.S. federal subsidized housing program given its long history of placing subsidized units in some of the poorest and most racially segregated neighborhoods. Using counterfactual causal methods that adjust for the length of receipt of subsidized housing, I estimate the effect of subsidized housing on teenage parenthood, household formation, and educational attainment. I find that the subsidized housing program has either null or positive effects on the transition to adulthood and that these effects vary by both race and gender. These results underscore the importance of considering whether social programs have differential effects on the life chances of individuals based on both race and gender.


Transition to adulthood Subsidized housing Inverse probability of treatment weighting 



The author wishes to acknowledge Jennie Brand, David Grusky, Robert Mare, Judith Seltzer, members of the UCLA Demography, Family and Stratification Research Group, members of the Stanford Workshop on Inequality, four anonymous reviewers, and the journal Editors for helpful comments on previous drafts of this manuscript. This research was supported by a grant from The Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy.

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Copyright information

© Population Association of America 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyThe City College of New YorkNew YorkUSA

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