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Using 1990 census data, this article addresses the effect of rent control laws on two groups considered to be chronically homeless; the shelter population and the street population. The empirical analysis extends previous work by treating a city's rent control as an endogenous variable within the context of a two-stage model. The model controls for factors assumed to influence voters' choice regarding the enactment of rent control as well as factors assumed to determine a city's rate of homelessness. The results indicate that rent control is a positive, although relatively small, determinant of a city's shelter and street populations. The existence of a rent control law is predicted to increase a city's shelter population by .03% and its street population by .008%, all determinants being equal. (Authors)
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