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Melvin Stephens, Estimating Program Benefits

Measuring housing quality in the absence of a monetized real estate market

Publication Abstract

Rindfuss, R.R., Martin Piotrowski, V. Thongthai, and P. Prasartkul. 2007. "Measuring housing quality in the absence of a monetized real estate market." Population Studies-a Journal of Demography, 61(1): 35-52.

Measuring housing quality or value or both has been a weak component of demographic and development research in less developed countries that lack an active real estate (housing) market. We describe a new method based on a standardized subjective rating process. It is designed to be used in settings that do not have an active, monetized housing market. The method is applied in an ongoing longitudinal study in north-east Thailand and could be straightforwardly used in many other settings. We develop a conceptual model of the process whereby households come to reside in high-quality or low-quality housing units. We use this theoretical model in conjunction with longitudinal data to show that the new method of measuring housing quality behaves as theoretically expected, thus providing evidence of face validity.

DOI:10.1080/00324720601103858 (Full Text)

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