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The Deregularization of Land Titles

Listed author(s):
  • Sebastian Galiani
  • Ernesto Schargrodsky

In the last years, several countries implemented policy interventions to entitle urban squatters, encouraged by the results of studies showing large welfare gains from entitlement. We study a natural experiment in the allocation of land titles to very poor families in a suburban area of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Although previous studies on this experiment have found important effects of titling on investment, household structure, educational achievement, and child health, in this article we document that a large fraction of households that went through a situation at which formalization was challenged (death, divorce, sale/purchase), ended up being de-regularized. The legal costs of remaining formal seem too high relative to the value of these parcels and the income of their inhabitants.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 22482.

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Date of creation: Aug 2016
Publication status: published as Galiani Sebastian & Schargrodsky Ernesto, 2016. "The Deregularization of Land Titles," Man and the Economy, De Gruyter, vol. 3(2), pages 169-188, December.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22482
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  1. Galiani, Sebastian & Schargrodsky, Ernesto, 2010. "Property rights for the poor: Effects of land titling," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(9-10), pages 700-729, October.
  2. 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.
  3. Galiani, Sebastian & Schargrodsky, Ernesto, 2004. "Effects of land titling on child health," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 353-372, December.
  4. Sebastian Galiani & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2011. "Land Property Rights and Resource Allocation," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(S4), pages 329-345.
  5. Arrunada, Benito & Garoupa, Nuno, 2005. "The Choice of Titling System in Land," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(2), pages 709-727, October.
  6. Field, Erica Marie, 2005. "Property Rights and Investment in Urban Slums," Scholarly Articles 3634150, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Erica Field, 2007. "Entitled to Work: Urban Property Rights and Labor Supply in Peru," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1561-1602.
  8. Markus Goldstein & Christopher Udry, 2008. "The Profits of Power: Land Rights and Agricultural Investment in Ghana," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(6), pages 981-1022, December.
  9. Erica Field, 2005. "Property Rights and Investment in Urban Slums," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 279-290, 04/05.
  10. Quy-Toan Do & Lakshmi Iyer, 2008. "Land Titling and Rural Transition in Vietnam," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 531-579.
  11. Vogl, Tom S., 2007. "Urban land rights and child nutritional status in Peru, 2004," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 302-321, July.
  12. 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.
  13. Jimenez, Emmanuel, 1984. "Tenure Security and Urban Squatting," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(4), pages 556-567, November.
  14. 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.
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