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Effects of land titling on child health

  • Galiani, Sebastian
  • Schargrodsky, Ernesto

This paper analyzes the impact of land titling on child health. The empirical evaluation of the effect of property rights typically suffers from selection problems. The paper addresses the selection issue by exploiting a natural experiment in the allocation of land titles. Twenty years ago, a group of squatters occupied a piece of privately owned land in a suburban area of Buenos Aires, Argentina. When the provincial Congress passed an expropriation law transferring the land from the former owners to the squatters, some of the former owners surrendered the land (and received compensation), while others decided to sue in the slow Argentine courts. These different decisions by the former owners generated an allocation of property rights that is exogenous to the characteristics of the squatters. This paper takes advantage of this natural experiment to evaluate the effect of the allocation of urban land property rights on child health. The results show that children in the titled parcels enjoy better nutrition and lower teenage pregnancy rates than those in the untitled parcels.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics & Human Biology.

Volume (Year): 2 (2004)
Issue (Month): 3 (December)
Pages: 353-372

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:2:y:2004:i:3:p:353-372
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622964

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  1. Reading, Richard & Langford, Ian H. & Haynes, Robin & Lovett, Andrew, 1999. "Accidents to preschool children: comparing family and neighbourhood risk factors," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 321-329, February.
  2. MICHAEL R. CARTER & Pedro Olinto, 2000. "Getting Institutions 'Right' for Whom: Credit Constraints and the Impact of Property Rights on the Quantity and Compostiton of Investment," Wisconsin-Madison Agricultural and Applied Economics Staff Papers 433, Wisconsin-Madison Agricultural and Applied Economics Department.
  3. Lavy, V & Strauss, J & Thomas, D & de Vreyer, P, 1996. "Quality of Health Care, Survivial and Health Outcomes in Ghana," Papers 96-20, RAND - Reprint Series.
  4. Behrman, Jere R. & Wolfe, Barbara L., 1987. "How does mother's schooling affect family health, nutrition, medical care usage, and household sanitation?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1-2), pages 185-204.
  5. Jalan, Jyotsna & Ravallion, Martin, 2001. "Does piped water reduce diarrhea for children in rural India ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2664, The World Bank.
  6. Angrist, Joshua D, 2001. "Estimations of Limited Dependent Variable Models with Dummy Endogenous Regressors: Simple Strategies for Empirical Practice," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 19(1), pages 2-16, January.
  7. Gary S. Becker, 1960. "An Economic Analysis of Fertility," NBER Chapters, in: Demographic and Economic Change in Developed Countries, pages 209-240 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Lee J. Alston & Gary D. Libecap & Robert Schneider, 1996. "The Determinants and Impact of Property Rights: Land Titles on the Brazilian Frontier," NBER Working Papers 5405, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Erica Field, 2002. "Entitled to Work: Urban Property Rights and Labor Supply in Peru," Working Papers 180, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  10. Sebastian Galiani & Paul Gertler & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2005. "Water for Life: The Impact of the Privatization of Water Services on Child Mortality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 83-120, February.
  11. Angrist, Joshua D, 2001. "Estimations of Limited Dependent Variable Models with Dummy Endogenous Regressors: Simple Strategies for Empirical Practice: Reply," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 19(1), pages 27-28, January.
  12. Lanjouw, J.O. & Levy, P.I., 1998. "Untitled: A Study of Formal and Informal Property Rights in Urban Ecuador," Papers 788, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  13. Lee, Lung-fei & Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Pitt, Mark M., 1997. "The effects of improved nutrition, sanitation, and water quality on child health in high-mortality populations," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 209-235, March.
  14. Jimenez, Emmanuel, 1984. "Tenure Security and Urban Squatting," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(4), pages 556-67, November.
  15. Quy-Toan Do & Lakshmi Iyer, 2003. "Land rights and economic development : evidence from Vietnam," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3120, The World Bank.
  16. 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 903-37, October.
  17. Hoddinott, John & Kinsey, Bill, 2001. " Child Growth in the Time of Drought," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 63(4), pages 409-36, September.
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