Examines experimental evidence from fullscale housing allowance programs conducted in Brown County, Wisconsin, and St. Joseph County, Indiana. Contrary to predictions, the experimental evidence reveals no significant price changes attributable to the allowance program's first three years of operation in Brown County or its first two years in St. Joseph County. Those two expected substantial price effects generally assumed faster program growth, more elastic housing demand by participants, stronger earmarking effects, and less elastic supply than was encountered in the field. If the long-run effects of allowances on market prices are no greater than those observed, the issues to be addressed by policymakers are much simplified: Housing allowances can be judged in terms of who participates, how much they benefit, and the costs of the program relative to alternatives. Those not in the program would be unaffected by it, except as contributors to its costs.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.
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/research-integrity.
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.