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Political economy of public housing in France

Allocating public housing (Habitations à Loyers Modérés, hereafter HLM) to well-targeted populations may be a promising electoral strategy for local jurisdictions. Our project aims at quantitatively evaluating, using municipal French data over the past 30 years, whether this type of electoral maths is able to explain local variations in the HLM policy, regarding quantity, quality and type of beneficiaries.To that end, we first study the causal impact of election results on the evolution of the share of HLM tenants using a regression discontinuity design based on close electoral races. Then, we seek to decompose this overall effect in terms of the demographics of HLM tenants : are new dwellings similar to existing ones? Are new HLM tenants similar to older HLM tenants in the municipality and to municipality inhabitants in general ? Does HLM construction affect the composition of population inflows and outflows in the municipality ? Finally, we will match our observations to subsequent election results: do changes in HLM policy impact chances of reelection ?