The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Low-Income Housing Policy

  • Edgar O. Olsen
Reference work entry


Low-income housing assistance is an important part of the welfare system in many countries. This article discusses the rationale for this government activity, describes the most important differences between different low-income housing programmes, explains why economic theory has limited implications for the effects of these programmes, and summarizes the evidence on their most important effects. The most important finding of the empirical literature on the effects of different housing programmes from the viewpoint of housing policy is that recipient-based housing assistance has provided equally good housing at a much lower total cost than any type of unit-based assistance.


Crowding out Low-Income housing policy Neighbourhood effects Public housing Recipient-Based housing assistance Residential segregation Unit-Based housing assistance 

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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edgar O. Olsen
    • 1
  1. 1.