Aggregate-Level Inferences from Individual-Level Data: The Case of Permanent Supportive Housing and Housing First

O'Flaherty, Brendan Andrew

I estimate the “simple mechanical effect” of permanent supportive housing and Housing First as studied in the At Home/Chez Soi and HUD-VASH experiments on point-in-time counts of homelessness (HUD definition). The simple mechanical effect is the effect that would occur in the absence of any behavioral responses aside from those in the experiments. The estimates of the simple mechanical effects overlap the confidence intervals in Corinth’s (2017) regression study of the total effect. This finding suggests that the net effect of behavioral responses outside the experiments is small. The essay illustrates how useful inferences about aggregate-level phenomena can be derived from individual-level data.


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July 6, 2022