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Backyarding : Theory and Evidence for South Africa (English)

This paper explores the incentives for backyarding, an expanding category of urban land-use in developing countries that has proliferated South Africa. The theoretical model exposes the trade-off faced by the homeowner in deciding how much backyard land to rent out: loss of yard space consumption in return for a gain in rental income. Under common forms for preferences, the homeowner's own-consumption of yard space falls as land rent increases, causing more land to be rented to backyarders. With better job access for backyarders raising land rent by increasing their willingness-to-pay, the analysis then predicts that the extent of backyarding will be higher for parcels with good job access. This hypothesis is tested by combining a satellite- based count of backyard dwellings per parcel with job-access data. The empirical results strongly confirm the prediction that better job access increases the extent of backyarding.


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    Brueckner,Jan K., Rabe,Claus, Selod,Harris

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    Policy Research Working Paper

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    South Africa,

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    Backyarding : Theory and Evidence for South Africa

  • Keywords

    marginal rate of substitution; elasticity of substitution; income from rents; land rent; land and housing; misallocation of resources; local government association; commute travel time; access to land; amount of land; informal housing sector; land property rights; land use model; housing subsidy policies; home owners; rental income; Population Density; urban model; equilibrium condition; theoretical model; regional science; poor household; opportunity cost; utility function; housing consumption; black african; Labor Market; informal settlement; explanatory variable; tenure security; empirical work; trip time; utility level; summary statistic; land parcel; mixed use; budget constraint; land area; empirical result; small parcel; economics literature; partial derivative; housing program; housing demand; residential land; supplementary income; census data; urban development; urban household; commute trip; urban change; digital map; migrant labor; longer period; housing stock; welfare gains; Urban Governance; rental market; private supply; housing shortage; housing cost; state law; dwelling units; Learning and Innovation Credit; electricity connection; water tap; external service; building material; income category; commute mode; personal safety; informal employment; job opportunities; job opportunity; single person; general population; household head; low-income resident; empirical analysis; housing development; urban boundary; square foot; alternative use; horizontal axis; income increase; consumption good; wage income; model prediction; city planner; inverse relationship; safety valve; net impact; standard deviation; bus transportation; municipal authority; long trip; standard error; attractive force; short range; democratic election; disposable income; Public Services; living condition; taxi service; metropolitan area; job location; residential patterns; habitat international; political support; subsidized housing; urban housing; municipal response; government land; informal city; spatial structure; consumer response; Housing Policy; african study; african woman; measuring risk; land invasion; informal rent; homeless people; land market; residential property; representative sample; open access; natural log; development policy; low-income area; agricultural rent; informal sector; low-income household; job center; informal land; extreme poverty; slum resident; research assistance; slum formation; price change; land title; urban study; high wage; urban slum; migrant household; employment centers; exclusionary policy; government housing; Economic Policy; empirical literature; empirical exercise; city government; aerial photography; satellite image; rural-urban migration; urban density; urban population; urban phenomenon; housing capital; housing economics; Population Growth; durable housing; environmental health; public economics; housing supply



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Brueckner,Jan K. Rabe,Claus Selod,Harris

Backyarding : Theory and Evidence for South Africa (English). Policy Research working paper,no. WPS 8636,Paper is funded by the Strategic Research Program (SRP) Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group.