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Untitled: A Study Of Formal and Informal Property Rights in Urban Ecuador

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Abstract

We explore the substitutability of formal and informal property rights using new survey data from Ecuador, where households have both formal and informal claims to urban residential property. We develop a model of property transactions that distinguishes between transferable and non-transferable claims, and show how this distinction affects the interpretation of hedonic price regressions. The unconditional effect of title is to raise properties’ value by 23.5%. However, we also find that informal property rights can substitute effectively for formal property rights, and suggest that titling programmes should be targeted at young disorganised communities if they are to benefit the recipients.

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