Assessing Benefits of Slum Upgrading Programs in Second Best Settings
40 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2006
Date Written: August 2006
Slum upgrading programs are being used by national and city governments in many countries to improve the welfare of households living in slum and squatter settlements. These programs typically include a combination of improvements in neighborhood infrastructure, land tenure, and building quality. In this paper, we develop a dynamic general equilibrium model to compare the effectiveness of alternative slum upgrading instruments in a second-best setting with distortions in the land and credit markets. We numerically test the model using data from three Brazilian cities and find that the performance of in situ slum upgrading depends on the severity of land and credit market distortions, and how complementary policy initiatives are being implemented to correct for these problems. Pre-existing land supply and credit market distortions reduce the benefit cost ratios across interventions, and change the rank ordering of preferred interventions. In the light of these findings, it appears that partial equilibrium analysis used in typical cost benefit work overstate the stream of net benefits from upgrading interventions, and may in fact propose a misleading sequence of interventions.
Keywords: Slum upgrading, preexisting distortions, second best policies
JEL Classification: R21, R31, R38, I31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation