Institutional choices and designs in neighbourhood management and governance
This thesis is divided in two parts--- a theoretical part and an empirical part. In the theoretical part, I will use new institutional economics (NIE) to discuss current trends in planning and the institutional shift from government to market via HOAs and generalise the institutional relationships among government, market, and HOAs. In the empirical part, it includes an institutional analysis on the cases studies in Taiwan. The analysis is general but the application is the planning system in Taiwan. My findings show that the private governance of HOAs is not a pure market-oriented planning institution. It has transaction costs stemming from the use of democracy in making collective choices. Its institutional position, therefore, is in the middle between government and Multiple-tenant income properties (like shopping mall), a pure market-oriented planning institution. Secondly, the institution of HOA is made better than traditional municipal governments through the assistance from PMCs. Thirdly, the HOAs have developed so rapidly worldwide and in Taiwan is that it is a market response to the public demand for better environmental quality and public service. Government promotes HOA development to reduce its financial burden and PMCs push CID development, driven by their business interests. These findings also connect with broader debates concerning the development of gated communities, CIDs and HOAs, and show the possibility of private governance in cities. The idea of private planning and management via HOAs, however, needs to admit that if HOAs are more efficient than municipal government at the present time, it may only be because, its public services are delivered by property management companies. There are more competitive and more efficient than direct government providers. The problems of centrally governing the allocation of scarce resources via democratically accountable decision-making are generic, whether the organization is a municipal government or a contractual and entrepreneurial club. In this respect, my research helps to clarify a necessary distinction between contractual governance and contractual management.