DP10746 | Moving to Opportunity or Isolation? Network Effects of a Randomized Housing Lottery in Urban India

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A housing lottery in an Indian city provided winning slum dwellers the opportunity to move into improved housing on the city?s periphery. Fourteen years later, relative to lottery losers, winners report improved housing farther from the city center, but no change in family income or human capital. Winners also report increased isolation from family and caste networks and lower access to informal insurance. We observe significant program exit: 34% of winners never moved into the subsidized housing and 32% eventually exited. Our results point to the importance of considering social networks when designing housing programs for the poor.