When the Tanzanian government formalized over 200,000 informal land claims by granting leasehold titles to residents of unplanned settlements in Dar es Salaam in 2004, a few neighborhoods in the initial plan were excluded due to missing satellite photos. We examine the impact of this low-cost, large-scale titling intervention a decade later in a regression discontinuity design using new survey data collected on either side of the arbitrary boundary created by the missing photos. We find significant, positive effects on housing investment, and indicative but not statistically robust increases in tenure security and reductions in land sales. There is no evidence that titles improved access to credit markets.
Collin, M.; Sandefur, J.; Zeitlin, A. Falling Off the Map: The Impact of Formalizing (Some) Informal Settlements in Tanzania. CSAE Economics Department, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK (2015) 35 pp. [CSAE Working Paper WPS/2015-09]