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Title: Essays on development economics
Author: Molina Campodonico, Oswaldo
ISNI:       0000 0004 4015 301X
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis is a collection of essays on the relevance of property right reforms on the wellbeing of poor households in developing countries; specifically titling programmes in urban Peru. The first essay assesses the effects of titling on housing investment. The availability of a unique dataset permits us to trace households' investment behaviour. This allows us to investigate if tenure security induces households to make sizeable investments, the evolution of this effect over time, and whether heterogeneous expectations about future tenure security matter for the estimated impact. Evidence reveals significant effects, especially on large investment; however, the response on this type of investment may take several years to become effective. The second essay contributes to the debate on the sustainability of property rights reforms by emphasising the importance of strong registration systems. Policymakers have focused on the process of granting titles but the conditions needed to maintain the formality of future plot transactions have been left unattended. The analysis exploits an exogenous variation in legislation to examine the impact of a change in the registration process on the registration rate of plot transactions. Evidence suggests a large negative effect, implying that a weak registration system could threaten the reform. The third essay explores the impact of titling on the risk preferences of slum dwellers. The analysis provides evidence that titled dwellers reported lower values of the risk aversion measure than their non-treated counterparts. Results also suggest that tenure security can influence slum dwellers' preference formation process. Evidence shows that beneficiaries who were exposed to tenure security during their youth report on average lower values of the risk aversion indicator than individuals titled at an older age.
Supervisor: Dercon, Stefan Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Economics ; Development economics ; Development ; Property Rights ; Titling ; Impact Evaluation