Miércoles, 24 de Agosto de 2016
12:00 - 13:00
Santiago CESS, Concha y Toro 32C, Santiago
Social Housing Programs and Domestic Violence
Housing programs to low-income households are widespread interventions in development countries. In this paper, we exploit the random assignment rule implemented by the government of the municipality of Salto, Argentina, in its social housing policy in order to identify the effect of housing allocation on subsequent domestic violence. The social housing program consists in delivering a finished house located in the outskirts of an urban center. Beneficiaries receive the house in exchange for a long-term credit at a subsidized rate, and are entitled to its legal ownership after full payment. The assignment of beneficiaries was made by means of a well-documented public lottery. The lottery assignment of beneficiaries, the insignificance of attrition and non-compliance, and the balancing of pre-treatment characteristics indicate that results are not subject to significant sources of selection bias. We find that subsidized home-ownership programs to low-income households has an undesired side effect: the increase in domestic violence. Our preferred instrumental variable estimation suggest that being a beneficiary of the program increases average domestic violence from 15.7 percent to 23.1 percent (i.e., an increase 7.4 porcentage points, or around 50 percent). Finally, we explore various competing mechanisms and find support that the main driver behind our results is the increase in transaction costs of exiting a partnership.