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Untitled: A Study of Formal and Informal Property Rights in Urban Ecuador

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  • Jean O. Lanjouw

    (Yale University)

  • Philip I. Levy

    (Yale University)

Abstract

We explore the substitutability of formal and informal property rights using new survey data from Ecuador, where households have both formal and informal claims to urban residential property. We develop a model of property transactions that distinguishes between transferable and non--transferable claims, and show how this distinction affects the interpretation of hedonic price regressions. The unconditional effect of title is to raise properties" value by 23.5%. However, we also find that informal property rights can substitute effectively for formal property rights, and suggest that titling programmes should be targeted at young disorganised communities if they are to benefit the recipients. Copyright Royal Economic Society 2002

Suggested Citation

  • Jean O. Lanjouw & Philip I. Levy, 2002. "Untitled: A Study of Formal and Informal Property Rights in Urban Ecuador," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(482), pages 986-1019, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:112:y:2002:i:482:p:986-1019
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Migot-Adholla, Shem, et al, 1991. "Indigenous Land Rights Systems in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Constraint on Productivity?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 5(1), pages 155-175, January.
    2. Johnson, Omotunde E G, 1972. "Economic Analysis, The Legal Framework and Land Tenure Systems," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 259-276, April.
    3. Jimenez, Emmanuel, 1985. "Urban squatting and community organization in developing countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 69-92, June.
    4. Friedman, Joseph & Jimenez, Emmanuel & Mayo, Stephen K., 1988. "The demand for tenure security in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 185-198, September.
    5. Frank Place & Peter Hazell, 1993. "Productivity Effects of Indigenous Land Tenure Systems in Sub-Saharan Africa," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 75(1), pages 10-19.
    6. Alston, Lee J & Libecap, Gary D & Schneider, Robert, 1996. "The Determinants and Impact of Property Rights: Land Titles on the Brazilian Frontier," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 25-61, April.
    7. Jimenez, Emmanuel, 1984. "Tenure Security and Urban Squatting," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(4), pages 556-567, November.
    8. Besley, Timothy, 1995. "Property Rights and Investment Incentives: Theory and Evidence from Ghana," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 903-937, October.
    9. Rivers, Douglas & Vuong, Quang H., 1988. "Limited information estimators and exogeneity tests for simultaneous probit models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 347-366, November.
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    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • K11 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Property Law

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