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Living Conditions, Rents, and Their Determinants in the Slums of Nairobi and Dakar


  • Sumila Gulyani
  • Ellen M. Bassett
  • Debabrata Talukdar


Using data from 3,715 slum households in Nairobi and Dakar, we find living conditions for tenants are worse than for owners, although tenants pay significant rents. Compared to Nairobi, both nominal rents and living conditions are higher in Dakar. Despite differences in respective slum rental markets, determinants of rent in both cities are strikingly similar. Analysis suggests that tenure mix—proportion of tenants to owners—affects what is available for rent and overall living conditions. Ensuring a certain proportion of housing is owner occupied may be instrumental for delivering greater choice for tenants and better living conditions for all slum residents.

Suggested Citation

  • Sumila Gulyani & Ellen M. Bassett & Debabrata Talukdar, 2012. "Living Conditions, Rents, and Their Determinants in the Slums of Nairobi and Dakar," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 88(2), pages 251-274.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:landec:v:88:y:2012:ii:1:p:251-274

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. James R. Follain & Emmanuel Jimenez, 1985. "The Demand for Housing Characteristics in Developing Countries," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 22(5), pages 421-432, October.
    2. Goodman, John Jr. & Ittner, John B., 1992. "The accuracy of home owners' estimates of house value," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 339-357, December.
    3. Stephen Malpezzi & J. Sa-Aadu, 1996. "What Have African Housing Policies Wrought?," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 24(2), pages 133-160.
    4. Jimenez, Emmanuel & Keare, Douglas H., 1984. "Housing consumption and permanent income in developing countries: Estimates from panel data in El Salvador," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 172-194, March.
    5. Jha, Saumitra & Rao, Vijayendra & Woolcock, Michael, 2007. "Governance in the Gullies: Democratic Responsiveness and Leadership in Delhi's Slums," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 230-246, February.
    6. Gonzalez-Navarro, Marco & Quintana-Domeque, Climent, 2009. "The reliability of self-reported home values in a developing country context," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 311-324, December.
    7. Kathy J. Hayes & Lori L. Taylor, 1996. "Neighborhood school characteristics: what signals quality to homebuyers?," Economic and Financial Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Q IV, pages 2-9.
    8. Cotton, Jeremiah, 1988. "On the Decomposition of Wage Differentials," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(2), pages 236-243, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:wdevel:v:109:y:2018:i:c:p:57-72 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:wdevel:v:109:y:2018:i:c:p:42-56 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Andrea Rigon, 2014. "Building Local Governance: Participation and Elite Capture in Slum-upgrading in Kenya," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 45(2), pages 257-283, March.
    4. World Bank, 2013. "Africa Development Indicators 2012/13," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13504.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • R21 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Housing Demand


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