Structural evaluation of institutional bias in China’s urban housing: the case of Guangzhou
Institutional bias is an important topic in social justice and the presence of institutional bias is widely recognized in China’s urban housing sector. This paper proposes a new framework for measuring and assessing institutional bias in China’s urban housing system based on structural equation modeling and the Pratt index of relative importance for linear regression. The proposed framework analyzes the structural pathways through which nonmarket institutional forces affect housing, and provides quantitative measures to evaluate both the direct and the indirect effects of biased institutions on housing outcomes. A case study of Guangzhou is presented to demonstrate the proposed ideas and methods using first-hand household survey data collected in 2009. The results of the case study show the dominance of institutional effects over market effects on housing outcomes through direct and indirect pathways. The results also show that, although institutional forces affect most subjective and objective measures of housing outcomes, they induce the largest effects on homeownership attainment and physical housing conditions. This suggests that, at this stage, property ownership and material housing well-being are two potential central areas of China’s housing justice. Keywords: institutional bias, social justice, urban housing, China
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