Transit infrastructure and informal housing: Assessing an expansion of Medellín’s Metrocable system

Posted by Héctor M. Posada

Transportation policies have a valuable influence on the allocation of resources within cities. Therefore, inves-tigating the impacts of transit interventions is relevant, especially in developing countries where informal housing is highly prevalent and spatial disparities are noteworthy. We study the impact of a transit expansion of the Metrocable system in Medellín, Colombia, as a natural scenario to understand the causal links between lowering access costs and informal housing. Using a difference-in-difference identification strategy, we estimate that the expansion of Line H of Metrocable reduces informal housing up to 15 percentage points. We also show that the magnitude of the effect depends on the distance to the intervention. We find that the labor market plays a crucial role when exploring potential mechanisms mediating the analyzed causal relation.

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The external effects of public housing developments on informal housing: The case of Medellín, Colombia

Posted by Héctor M. Posada

Provision of new subsidized housing projects has proven to be an effective alternative to reduce the high level of quantitative housing deficit in developing countries. However less is known about how these housing projects affect the quality of the surrounding habitat, especially when projects are located in areas with high levels of precarious housing. Using highly granular public information from Medellin, Colombia, we estimate the causal effect of new social housing projects (VIS) on housing quality indicators in the neighborhood. To estimate this causal effect, we use the geological quality of the land as an instrumental variable for a measure of exposition to new social housing projects. Our results show that new VIS projects lead to a reduction of informal housing, poverty, and crime in the neighborhood.