Entitled to Work: Urban Property Rights and Labor Supply in Peru

Between 1996 and 2003, the Peruvian government issued property titles to over 1.2 million urban households, the largest titling program targeted at urban squatters in the developing world. This paper examines the labor market effects of increases in tenure security resulting from the program. To isolate the causal role of ownership rights, I make use of differences across regions induced by the timing ofthe program and differences across target populations in level of preprogram ownership rights. My estimates suggest that titling results in a substantial increase in labor hours, a shift in labor supply away from work at home to work in the outside market, and substitution of adult for child labor.

Field (2007)


Intent to treat analysis with OLS and instrumental variable regressions with 1997 and 2000 household surveys (LSMS) with panel features.Land titling.Increasing tenure security from the issuance of property titles to urban households enabled former squatters, especially men, to work more hours in the labor market instead of staying at home to guard their property with a resulting increase in income. Although the effect was positive for women, it was substantially larger for men.http://qje.oxfordjournals.org/content/122/4/1561.short2,750 households (24% female-headed).