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Does Titling Matter? Evidence from Housing Markets in India


  • Joel R. Landry

    (The Pennsylvania State University)

  • Antonio M. Bento

    (University of Southern California and the National Bureau of Economic Research)

  • Somik V. Lall

    (The World Bank)


In this paper, we exploit the plausibly exogenous random relocation of slum dwellers in Pune, India to evaluate whether the provision of a formal title is capitalized into property values. Using propensity score matching methods, which address important sources of bias that are present in conventional Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) hedonic methods, we find no effect of titling. Our results suggest that slum improvements may be sufficient to enhance informal tenure rights and that formalizing those rights with a title has little additional impact. An analysis of heterogeneous treatment effects from titling confirms this conclusion, providing preliminary evidence when titling may complement or substitute for other slum interventions.

Suggested Citation

  • Joel R. Landry & Antonio M. Bento & Somik V. Lall, 2018. "Does Titling Matter? Evidence from Housing Markets in India," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 48(3), pages 377-400, Winter.
  • Handle: RePEc:rre:publsh:v48:y:2018:i:3:p:377-400

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    More about this item


    titling; formal property rights; policy interventions in slums;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand


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