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Title: Planning Ahead for Better Neighborhoods: Long Run Evidence from Tanzania

Author(s): Neeraj Baruah, Amanda Dahlstrand-Rudin, Guy Michaels, Dzhamilya Nigmatulina, Ferdinand Rauch and Tanner Regan

Publication Date: September 2017

Keyword(s): Africa, economic development, Slums and Urban Economics

Programme Area(s): Development Economics, International Trade and Regional Economics and Labour Economics

Abstract: What are the long run consequences of planning and providing basic infrastructure in neighborhoods, where people build their own homes? We study "Sites and Services" projects implemented in seven Tanzanian cities during the 1970s and 1980s, half of which provided infrastructure in previously unpopulated areas (de novo neighborhoods), while the other half upgraded squatter settlements. Using satellite images and surveys from the 2010s, we find that de novo neighborhoods developed better housing than adjacent residential areas (control areas) that were also initially unpopulated. Specifically, de novo neighborhood are more orderly and their buildings have larger footprint areas and are more likely to have multiple stories, as well as connections to electricity and water, basic sanitation and access to roads. And though de novo neighborhoods generally attracted better educated residents than control areas, the educational difference is too small to account for the large difference in residential quality that we find. While we have no natural counterfactual for the upgrading areas, descriptive evidence suggests that they are if anything worse than the control areas.

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Bibliographic Reference

Baruah, N, Dahlstrand-Rudin, A, Michaels, G, Nigmatulina, D, Rauch, F and Regan, T. 2017. 'Planning Ahead for Better Neighborhoods: Long Run Evidence from Tanzania'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research.