CRESR Seminar - The impact of reforms to private-sector housing benefit on claimants and landlords

Start date: 
Wed, 28/01/2015
Closing date: 
Wed, 28/01/2015
Sheffield Hallam University, City Campus, Stoddart Building, Room 7139
Event contact: 
Ian Wilson & Will Eadson

Time: 4.00-5.00 pm

Andy Hood - Institute for Fiscal Studies


During 2011 and 2012 the UK government reduced the generosity of the housing subsidy it provides to low-income private renters. This paper estimates the incidence of this change on the recipients and on their landlords, using administrative monthly panel data on the universe of subsidy recipients. We exploit the phased roll-out of the reforms to estimate separate effects on rents for new claimants and for existing claimants, using different identifying assumptions in each case. Both sets of estimates are extremely similar. Rents paid by subsidy recipients were affected little overall, and, having adjusted for housing quality, about 90% of the incidence of the reforms was on tenants. There is important heterogeneity however: the estimated incidence on landlords was higher for some claimants that saw particularly large reductions in their subsidy.  The results suggest that the incidence of reforms to housing subsidy regimes can vary substantially within the range of real-world rental markets.


Andrew is a Research Economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS). Previous work for the Institute has described and projected trends in living standards, poverty and inequality in the United Kingdom, looking in detail at the effect of the tax and benefit system on households and their decisions. His current research includes analysis of the impact of inheritances and home ownership on the distribution of lifetime economic resources, with a view to understanding the role intergenerational wealth transfers play in explaining consumption inequality.

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