Do Housing Vouchers Improve Academic Performance? Evidence from New York City

This paper examines whether—and to what extent—housing vouchers improve educational outcomes for students whose families receive them. Using data from New York City, the nation's largest school district, the authors match over 88,000 school‐age voucher recipients to longitudinal public school records and estimate the impact of vouchers on academic performance. Results indicate that students in voucher households perform 0.05 standard deviations better in both English Language Arts and Mathematics in the years after they receive a voucher. The authors see significant racial differences in impacts, with small or no gains for black students but significant gains for Hispanic, Asian, and white students. Impacts appear to be driven largely by reduced rent burdens, increased disposable income, or a greater sense of residential security.