Planning Ahead for Better Neighborhoods: Long Run Evidence from Tanzania

Michaels, G, Nigmatulina, D, Rauch, F, Regan, T, Baruah, N and Dahlstrand, A (2021) Planning Ahead for Better Neighborhoods: Long Run Evidence from Tanzania. Journal of Political Economy, 129 (7). pp. 2112-2156. ISSN 0022-3808 OPEN ACCESS


Africa’s demand for urban housing is soaring, even as it faces a proliferation of slums. In this setting, can modest infrastructure investments in greenfield areas where people subsequently
build their own houses facilitate long run neighborhood development? We study "Sites and Services" projects implemented in seven Tanzanian cities during the 1970s and 1980s, and we use a spatial regression discontinuity design to compare greenfield areas that were treated (“de novo”) to nearby greenfield areas that were not. We find that by the 2010s, de novo areas developed into
neighborhoods with larger and more regularly laid out buildings and better quality housing.

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© 2021 University of Chicago.  Accepted for publication by Journal of Political Economy on 18/11/2020

Date Deposited: 19 May 2021 15:30
Date of first compliant deposit: 18 May 2021
Subjects: Africa
Economic growth
Land use planning
Urban sociology
Last Modified: 05 Mar 2024 02:55

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