ERIC Number: EJ775183
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Reference Count: 60
Public Housing, Health, and Health Behaviors: Is There a Connection?
Fertig, Angela R.; Reingold, David A.
Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, v26 n4 p831-860 Fall 2007
This paper explores the relationship between public housing, health outcomes, and health behaviors among low-income housing residents. While public housing can be a dangerous and unhealthy environment in which to live, the subsidized rent may free up resources for nutritious food and health care. In addition, public housing may be of higher quality than the available alternatives, it may provide easier access to health clinics willing to serve the poor, and it may link residents to social support networks, which can improve mental health and the ability to access higher-quality grocery stores. To test whether there is a "back-door" health benefit to the public housing program, we analyze data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study. We minimize the effects of selection into public housing with controls and instrumental variables estimation and find that the results are somewhat sensitive to the instrumental variable used, and thus, we conclude that we are unable to detect a robust health benefit from public housing for our measures of health. However, we do find some evidence that public housing residency has mixed effects on domestic violence, increases obesity, and worsens mothers' overall health status. (Contains 9 tables.)
Descriptors: Obesity, Health Behavior, Health Conditions, Family Violence, Clinics, Public Housing, Health, Low Income, Data Analysis, Mothers
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
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