An Analysis of Alternative Measures of Tenant Benefits of Government Housing Programs with Illustrative Calculations from Public Housing.

by Edgar O. Olsen, J. R. Prescott

Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback21 pages $20.00 $16.00 20% Web Discount

A new measure of total tenant benefit is derived which is consistent with the theory of consumer choice and the best available empirical work on the demand curve for housing service. Alternative existing measures (which require less information and calculation and which are, therefore, less costly to use) are compared, with the resulting conclusion that good estimates of tenant benefit are possible using mean data for projects or for the program as a whole. Other inferences can be drawn from the sample: Public housing results in roughly 10 percent increase in real income while giving 18 percent more housing service. It is estimated that about 60 percent of the benefits of public housing to its tenants comes from greater consumption of nonhousing goods and about 40 percent from greater housing service. These benefits vary inversely with family income and directly with family size. 21 pp. Ref.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.