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Edgar Olsen


Phone: 434-924-3443
Personal Website

PDF document icon Curriculum Vitae

Office Location

Monroe Hall, Room 250

Office Hours

Tuesday and Thursday 11:00 - 11:30am and 2:00 - 3:00pm


Research Interests

Housing Markets and Policies, Welfare Policies


  • Bachelor of Arts (BA), Tulane University
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Rice University

Selected Publications

“A Competitive Theory of the Housing Market,” American Economic Review, LIX (September 1969), 612-22

"An Econometric Analysis of Rent Control," Journal of Political Economy, LXXX , 1081-1100, Nov./Dec. 1972;

"The Benefits and Costs of Public Housing in New York City" (with David Barton), Journal of Public Economics, XX, 299-332, April 1983;

"The Demand and Supply of Housing Services: A Critical Survey of the Empirical Literature" in Handbook in Urban Economics, ed., Edwin S. Mills, Amsterdam: North-Holland, 1987;

"The Welfare Economics of Equal Access," (with Diane Lim Rogers), Journal of Public Economics, XLV, 91-105, June 1991;

“Subsidized Housing, Emergency Shelters, and Homelessness: An Empirical Investigation Using Data from the 1990 Census” (with Dirk Early), Advances in Economic Analysis & Policy, 2 (2002), 1-34;

“Housing Programs for Low-Income Households” in Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, ed., Robert Moffitt, National Bureau of Economic Research (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003);

"Low-Income Housing Policy," New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Second Edition, London:Macmillan, 2008;

“Fundamental Housing Policy Reforms to End Homelessness” in How to House the Homeless, ed., Ingrid Gould Ellen and Brendan O'Flaherty (New York: Russell Sage, 2010).

“Geographic Price Variation, Housing Assistance, and Poverty” (with Dirk Early) in Oxford Handbook of the Economics of Poverty, ed., Philip N. Jefferson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012)

“The Performance and Legacy of Housing Policies” (with Jens Ludwig) in The Legacies of the War on Poverty, ed., Martha Bailey and Sheldon Danziger (New York: Russell Sage, 2013)



Working Papers

Alleviating Poverty through Housing Policy Reform

The Millennial Housing Commission Report: An Assessment (.pdf)

The Simple Analytics of Vouchering Out Unit-Based Housing Assistance (.pdf)

Promoting Homeownership among Low-Income Households

Getting More from Low-Income Housing Assistance (.pdf)

The Future of Public Housing (.pdf)

Report on Adjusting Poverty Thresholds for Geographic Price Differences (.pdf)

 A Panel of Interarea Price Indices for All Areas in the United States 1982-2012 (.pdf)

The Effect of Fundamental Housing Policy Reforms on Program Participation

The Cost-Effectiveness of Alternative Methods of Delivering Housing Subsidies (.pdf)

Oped Pieces

  1. UVA Living Wage Q&A (.pdf)
  2. Housing the Poorest Hurricane Victims (.pdf)
  3. Housing the Poorest Hurricane Victims-NOW (.pdf)
  4. Rearranging the Deck Chairs in the Housing Market (.pdf)
  5. Improving the Housing Provisions of the Stimulus Package (.pdf)

Congressional Testimony

  1. House010621Oral12 (.pdf)

    Voucher Policy from the Perspective of a Taxpayer Who Wants to Help Low-Income Households (.pdf)

  2. Senate011129Oral12 (.pdf)

    Housing and Community Development Needs: The FY 2003 HUD Budget (.pdf)

  3. House060215Oral12 (.pdf)

    Whither Public Housing? (.pdf)

  4. House030617Oral12 (.pdf)

    Fundamental Housing Policy Reform (.pdf)

  5. Senate080312Oral12 (.pdf)

Getting More from the HUD Budget (.pdf)



Research Papers