Ever since I found out about Delhi's housing lottery, I've been trying to find a clever way to use its built-in randomization to learn about something interesting. My advisor, who already thinks I'm working on too many projects, will be happy to learn that someone has beat me to it. A really interesting new working paper from Sharon Barnhardt, Erica Field, and Rohini Pande looks at what happened to housing lottery winners in Ahmedabad, Gujarat (not Delhi, but same idea). They do some impressive data collection to follow up with the lottery winners and losers, and find a surprisingly low program take-up - only 66% of lottery winners actually moved in to their new housing development. They also find essentially no difference in human capital attainment and wages between the winners and the losers, and suggest that social ties are important contributors to the low observed benefits from being a lottery winner.
They describe it better than I do, so I'll let their abstract speak for itself:
Go take a look at this important paper! (One of these days I'll have a WWP edition that's not focused on an NBER paper - but this one was too good to pass up.)
As an aside, fortuitous timing or good strategy? The NBER also just put out a new working paper on the long-term benefits of deworming, from Sarah Baird, Joan Hamory Hicks, Michael Kremer, and Ted Miguel. (Spoiler alert: deworming leads to long-run increases in education, less subsistence agriculture in favor of cash crops and small businesses, and more work.)