Year: 2014
Working paper number: 347
Author: Muyeba, Singumbe
Unit: SSU
Property rights are widely imagined to have considerable positive effects on urban poverty. However, evidence is scarce, particularly regarding non-economic aspects of property rights. Evidence is also lacking from the Southern African context. This paper examines effects of property rights in Zambia through a case-study of the privatisation of low-cost public rental housing for poor people in Matero neighbourhood of Lusaka city. Data from a household survey (n=623) is used. Ordinary Least Squares and logistic regressions are employed. Altogether, eleven hypotheses are tested. Results show that titling contributes to an increase in property values, household per capita income and wealth, in terms of household durables, and political awareness. There is no effect of titling on employment status of heads of households, employment status of female heads of household, access to credit, home-based investments, membership in voluntary associations, neighbourhood attachment and frequency of volunteerism. The study demonstrates that effects of titling extend beyond economic effects, a sphere which scholars need to explore further. Since titling had no effect by important economic measures, it is likely that poverty in Matero is driven so strongly by macroeconomic factors such as high unemployment in Zambia such that property rights make little difference to poverty.
Publication file: WP 347.pdf