NBER

Winnie van Dijk

Department of Economics
Harvard University
Littauer Center
1805 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

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NBER Program Affiliations: PE
NBER Affiliation: Faculty Research Fellow
Institutional Affiliation: Harvard University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

August 2019Does Eviction Cause Poverty? Quasi-Experimental Evidence from Cook County, IL
with John Eric Humphries, Nicholas S. Mader, Daniel I. Tannenbaum: w26139
Each year, more than two million U.S. households have an eviction case filed against them. Many cities have recently implemented policies aimed at reducing the number of evictions, motivated by research showing strong associations between being evicted and subsequent adverse economic outcomes. Yet it is difficult to determine to what extent those associations represent causal relationships, because eviction itself is likely to be a consequence of adverse life events. This paper addresses that challenge and offers new causal evidence on how eviction affects financial distress, residential mobility, and neighborhood quality. We collect the near-universe of Cook County court records over a period of seventeen years, and link these records to credit bureau and payday loans data. Using this dat...

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