The impact of housing subsidy cuts on the labour market outcomes of claimants: Evidence from England

Daniel Borbely

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Housing subsidies are aimed at helping low-income individuals afford appropriate housing, but are costly to offer and, in the view of some experts and policy makers, reduce incentives for claimants to participate in the labour market. This paper investigates the labour market impacts of recent housing subsidy cuts in England that were aimed at encouraging labour market participation and increasing work effort among claimants. I utilise variation in exposure to the subsidy cuts within a difference-in-differences framework and find limited evidence at the individual-level that claimants increased employment and labour force participation in response to the subsidy cuts. Nonetheless, these findings lack robustness and aggregate-level evidence suggests that the subsidy cuts did not succeed in encouraging employment or participation among claimants. Overall, my results show that labour market responses to the subsidy cuts were likely preempted by a strong mobility response, whereby claimants moved into other parts of the rental market to maintain subsidy coverage.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101859
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Housing Economics
Early online date24 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


  • Housing subsidies
  • Labour market behaviour
  • Welfare programmes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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