Housing Affordability and Child Well-Being

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


We test three hypotheses about the role of housing affordability in child cognitive achievement, behavior, and health. Using longitudinal data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, we apply both propensity-score matching and instrumental-variable modeling as identification strategies and test the sensitivity of results to omitted variable bias. The analysis reveals an inverted-U-shaped relation between the fraction of income devoted to housing and cognitive achievement. The inflection point at approximately 30% supports the long-standing rule-of-thumb definition of affordable housing. There is no evidence of affordability effects on behavior or health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)116-151
Number of pages36
JournalHousing Policy Debate
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2015


  • child well-being
  • housing affordability
  • low-income

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Urban Studies
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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