3ie Replication Paper 9

The effects of land titling on the urban poor: a replication of property rights for the poor

3ie Replication paper 9

In this replication study, Drew B. Cameron, Edward M. Whitney, and Paul C. Winters seek to replicate the results of an influential 2010 study, Property rights for the poor: Effects of land titling by Sebastian Galiani and Ernesto Schargrodsky. The original study evaluated the impact of land titling on poverty reduction through a natural experiment where the government in Buenos Aires, Argentina awarded land titles to squatters living in a poor, urban area. The original authors found that titling substantially increased housing investment. Further, they found that land titling instigated a number of social impacts through a slow channel of increased physical and human capital investment rather than expanded land collateralisation, as commonly assumed.

In the pure replication, the replication researchers reproduced the original author’s statistical procedures. The robustness of these original results help confirm the importance of the original study. Due to the unavailability of the original questionnaires and the raw data, the replication researchers were unable to perform some of their planned robustness checks of the original research. However, in their additional analyses, the replication researchers expanded on the original theory of change. The replication study suggest broader possible effects and recommends pathways to the effects of property right allocation for future research.

Download report (2.7 MB)

Original author response (94.7 KB)

Read an interview with Paul Winters, co-author of this study, who talks about replication research.

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