Social programs and household size

Evidence from New York city

Ingrid Gould Ellen, Brendan O'Flaherty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

What determines how many adults live in a house? How do people divide themselves up among households? Average household sizes vary substantially, both over time and in the cross-section. In this paper, we describe how a variety of government policies affect living arrangements, intentionally or not. Using data from a survey of households in New York City, we find that these incentives appear to have an impact. Specifically, households receiving these housing and income subsidies are smaller on average (measured by number of adults). The impacts appear to be considerably larger than those that would occur if the programs were lump-sum transfers. Small average household size can be extremely expensive in terms of physical and environmental resources, higher rents, and possibly homelessness. Thus, we encourage policymakers to pay greater heed to the provisions built into various social policies that favor smaller households.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-409
Number of pages23
JournalPopulation Research and Policy Review
Volume26
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2007

Fingerprint

household size
life situation
homelessness
rent
government policy
subsidy
evidence
housing
incentive
income
resources
social policy
city
programme
household
cross section
resource
time
Social Policy

Keywords

  • Household size
  • Housing subsidies
  • Income subsidies
  • NewYork
  • Social programs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography

Cite this

Social programs and household size : Evidence from New York city. / Ellen, Ingrid Gould; O'Flaherty, Brendan.

In: Population Research and Policy Review, Vol. 26, No. 4, 08.2007, p. 387-409.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{df15cd38f86a4952a2433dca7ad16769,
title = "Social programs and household size: Evidence from New York city",
abstract = "What determines how many adults live in a house? How do people divide themselves up among households? Average household sizes vary substantially, both over time and in the cross-section. In this paper, we describe how a variety of government policies affect living arrangements, intentionally or not. Using data from a survey of households in New York City, we find that these incentives appear to have an impact. Specifically, households receiving these housing and income subsidies are smaller on average (measured by number of adults). The impacts appear to be considerably larger than those that would occur if the programs were lump-sum transfers. Small average household size can be extremely expensive in terms of physical and environmental resources, higher rents, and possibly homelessness. Thus, we encourage policymakers to pay greater heed to the provisions built into various social policies that favor smaller households.",
keywords = "Household size, Housing subsidies, Income subsidies, NewYork, Social programs",
author = "Ellen, {Ingrid Gould} and Brendan O'Flaherty",
year = "2007",
month = "8",
doi = "10.1007/s11113-007-9036-7",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "26",
pages = "387--409",
journal = "Population Research and Policy Review",
issn = "0167-5923",
publisher = "Springer Netherlands",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Social programs and household size

T2 - Evidence from New York city

AU - Ellen, Ingrid Gould

AU - O'Flaherty, Brendan

PY - 2007/8

Y1 - 2007/8

N2 - What determines how many adults live in a house? How do people divide themselves up among households? Average household sizes vary substantially, both over time and in the cross-section. In this paper, we describe how a variety of government policies affect living arrangements, intentionally or not. Using data from a survey of households in New York City, we find that these incentives appear to have an impact. Specifically, households receiving these housing and income subsidies are smaller on average (measured by number of adults). The impacts appear to be considerably larger than those that would occur if the programs were lump-sum transfers. Small average household size can be extremely expensive in terms of physical and environmental resources, higher rents, and possibly homelessness. Thus, we encourage policymakers to pay greater heed to the provisions built into various social policies that favor smaller households.

AB - What determines how many adults live in a house? How do people divide themselves up among households? Average household sizes vary substantially, both over time and in the cross-section. In this paper, we describe how a variety of government policies affect living arrangements, intentionally or not. Using data from a survey of households in New York City, we find that these incentives appear to have an impact. Specifically, households receiving these housing and income subsidies are smaller on average (measured by number of adults). The impacts appear to be considerably larger than those that would occur if the programs were lump-sum transfers. Small average household size can be extremely expensive in terms of physical and environmental resources, higher rents, and possibly homelessness. Thus, we encourage policymakers to pay greater heed to the provisions built into various social policies that favor smaller households.

KW - Household size

KW - Housing subsidies

KW - Income subsidies

KW - NewYork

KW - Social programs

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=34547914100&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=34547914100&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s11113-007-9036-7

DO - 10.1007/s11113-007-9036-7

M3 - Article

VL - 26

SP - 387

EP - 409

JO - Population Research and Policy Review

JF - Population Research and Policy Review

SN - 0167-5923

IS - 4

ER -