Advertisement

The Effects of Emergency Housing on Wellbeing: Evidence from Argentina’s Informal Settlements

  • Ann Mitchell
  • Jimena Macció
  • Diego Mariño Fages
Original Article

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to present evidence on the effects on wellbeing of providing a basic dwelling on-site to households living in situations of extreme poverty in urban slums. In particular, the paper evaluates the impact of the NGO TECHO’s emergency housing programme in informal settlements of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Using a quasi-experimental pipeline approach, the paper shows that the programme has a large effect on privacy, security, interpersonal relations, psychological wellbeing and perception of quality of life. Regarding health, the program only produces a reduction in the prevalence of cough and congestion. While indicators of sleep quality improve, the effects are not statistically significant after adjusting for multiple hypothesis testing. Additionally, the programme increases the likelihood that households with school age children have a tranquil place to study, evidence that the programme could broaden children’s long-term opportunities.

Keywords

Housing Urban Slums Impact evaluation Latin America 

Résumé

Le but de cet article est d’analyser les effets sur le bien-être des personnes d’un programme de construction de logements de base pour des familles qui vivent en situations d'extrême pauvreté dans les bidonvilles. L’article évalue en particulier l’impact du programme de logements d’urgence de l’ONG TECHO dans les quartiers informels de Buenos Aires en Argentine. En utilisant une approche de pipeline quasi expérimentale, l’article montre que le programme a un effet important sur le privé, la sécurité, les relations interpersonnelles, le bien-être psychologique et la perception de la qualité de vie. En ce qui concerne la santé, le programme ne fait que réduire la prévalence de la toux et de la congestion. Bien que les indicateurs de la qualité du sommeil s'améliorent, les effets ne sont pas statistiquement significatifs après ajustement pour les tests d'hypothèses multiples. De plus, le programme augmente la probabilité que les familles avec des enfants d’âge scolaire aient un endroit tranquille pour étudier, preuve que le programme pourrait élargir les possibilités à long terme des enfants.

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the following people for their valuable comments: María Laura Alzua, Roger Betancourt, James Copestake, Osvaldo Feinstein, Cythia Goytia, Patricio Millán, Ricardo Perez Truglia, Mariano Rabassa and two anonymous referees. We also thank Paula Araujo for providing excellent research assistance.

References

  1. Abadie, A., S. Athey, G. Imbens, and J. Wooldridge. 2017. When Should You Adjust Standard Errors for Clustering. https://arxiv.org/abs/1710.02926.
  2. Abadie, A., and G.W. Imbens. 2012. Matching on the Estimated Propensity Score. Econometrica 84 (2): 781–807.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Benicio, D.A.M.H., M.U. Ferreira, M.R. Cardoso, S.C. Konno, and C.A. Monteiro. 2004. WHEEZING Conditions in Early Childhood: Prevalence and Risk Factors in San Paolo, Brazil. Bulletin of the World Health Organization 82: 51–522.Google Scholar
  4. Bonnefoy, X. 2007. Inadequate Housing and Health: An Overview. International Journal of Environment and Pollution 30 (3): 411–429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bouillon, C.P. (ed.). 2012. Un espacio para el desarrollo: Los mercados de vivienda en América Latina y el Caribe. Washington, DC: Inter-American Development Bank.Google Scholar
  6. Cardinali, D.P., G.S.S.R. Espinola, A. Salvia, and D.P.C.D.E. Vigo. 2014. Sleep, Slums and Shelter: Impact of a Slum-housing Upgrading Programme. Bread and Brain, Education and Poverty, 1–14. Vatican City: Pontifical Academy of Sciences.Google Scholar
  7. Cattaneo, M.D., S. Galiani, P.J. Gertler, S. Martinez, and R. Titiunik. 2009. Housing, Health and Happiness. American Economic Journal: Economic Policy 1 (1): 75–105.Google Scholar
  8. Coleman, B. 1999. The Impact of Lending in Northeastern Thailand. Journal of Development Economics 60: 105–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cruces, G., R. Pérez Truglia, and M. Tetaz. 2013. Biased Perceptions of Income Distribution and Preferences for Redistribution: Evidence from a Survey Experiment. Journal of Public Economics 98 (C): 100–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Deininger, K., and Y. Liu. 2013. Economic and Social Impacts of an Innovative Self-Help Group Model in India. World Development 43: 149–163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Devoto, F., E. Duflo, P. Dupas, W. Parienté, and V. Pons. 2012. Happiness on Tap: Piped Water Adoption in Urban Morocco. American Economic Journal: Economic Policy 4 (4): 68–99.Google Scholar
  12. Evans, G.W., S.J. Lepore, B.R. Shejwal, and M.N. Palsane. 1998. Chronic Residential Crowding and Children’s Well-Being: An Ecological Perspective. Child Development 69 (6): 1514–1523.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Evans, G.W., N.M. Wells, E. Chan, and H. Saltzman. 2000. Housing and Mental Health. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 68: 526–530.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Field, E. 2004. Property Rights, Community Public Goods, and Household Time Allocation in Urban Squatter Communities: Evidence from Peru. William and Mary Law Review 45: 837–887.Google Scholar
  15. Fonseca, W., B.R. Kirkwood, C.G. Victora, S.R. Fuchs, J.A. Flores, and C. Misago. 1996. Risk Factors for Childhood Pneumonia Among the Urban Poor in Fortaleza, Brazil: A Case-Control Study. Bulletin World Health Organization 74 (2): 199–208.Google Scholar
  16. Galiani, S., P. Gertler, R. Undurraga, R. Cooper, S. Martinez, and A. Ross. 2016. Shelter from the Storm: Upgrading Housing Infrastructure in Latin American Slums. Journal of Urban Economics 96: 166–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Galiani, S., and E. Schargrodsky. 2010. Property Rights for the Poor: Effects of Land Titling. Journal of Public Economics 94: 700–729.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Goux, D., and E. Maurin. 2005. The effect of overcrowded housing on children’s performance at school. Journal of Public Economics 89 (5): 797–819.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Gove, W.R., M. Hughes, and O.R. Galle. 1979. Overcrowding in the Home: An Empirical Investigation of Its Possible Pathological Consequences. American Sociological Review 44 (1): 59–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Imbens, G.W. 2015. Matching Methods in Practice: Three Examples. Journal of Human Resources 50 (2): 373–419.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Imbens, G.W., and J.M. Wooldridge. 2009. Recent Developments in the Econometrics of Program Evaluation. Journal of Economic Literature 47 (1): 5–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Jaitman, L. and J. Brakarz. 2013. Evaluation of Slum Upgrading Programmes. Literature Review and Methodological Approaches. IDB-TN-604, Washington, DC: Inter-American Development Bank.Google Scholar
  23. Kahneman, D. 2011. Thinking, Fast and Slow. London: Allen Lane.Google Scholar
  24. Lehmann, E.L., and J. Romano. 2005. Testing Statistical Hypotheses. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  25. Murtagh, P., C. Cerqueiro, A. Halac, M. Avila, H. Salomon, and M. Weissenbacher. 1993. Acute Lower Respiratory Infection in Argentinian Children: A 40 Month Clinical and Epidemiological Study. Pediatric Pulmonology 16 (1): 1–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Newman, S.J. 2008. Does Housing Matter for Poor Families? A Critical Summary of Research and Issues Still to be Resolved. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 27 (4): 895–925.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Ortiz Flores, E. 2011. La Producción Social del Hábitat. In El Camino Posible. Producción social de hábitat en América Latina ed. M. Arébalo. Montevideo: Ediciones Trilce.Google Scholar
  28. Peat, J.K., J. Dickerson, and J. Li. 1998. Effects of Damp and Mold in the Home on Respiratory Health: A Review of the Literature. Allergy 53: 120–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Perneger, T.V. 1998. What’s Wrong with Bonferroni Adjustments. British Medical Journal 316: 1236–1238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Regoeczi, W. 2002. The Impact of Density: The Importance of Nonlinearity and Selection on Flight and Fight Responses. Social Forces 81 (2): 505–530.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Rojas, E. and N. Medellin. 2011. Housing Policy Matters for the Poor Housing Conditions in Latin America and the Caribbean, 1995-2006. IDB Working Paper Series No. 289. Washington, DC: Inter-American Development Bank.Google Scholar
  32. Rosekind, M.R., K.B. Gregory, M.M. Mallis, S. Brandt, B. Seal, and D. Lerner. 2010. The Cost of Poor Sleep: Workplace Productivity Loss and Associated Costs. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 52 (1): 91–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Rosenbaum, P.R., and D.B. Rubin. 1983. The Central Role of the Propensity Score in Observational Studies for Causal Effects. Biometrica 70 (1): 41–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Salvia, A. (ed.). 2014. Un régimen consolidado de bienestar con desigualdades sociales persistentes, claroscuros en el desarrollo humano y la integración social 2010-2013, 1st ed. Buenos Aires: Educa.Google Scholar
  35. Sen, A. 1985. Well-Being, Agency and Freedom: The Dewey Lectures 1984. The Journal of Philosophy 82 (4): 169–221.Google Scholar
  36. Sen, A. 1999. Development as Freedom. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  37. Simonelli, G., Y. Leanza, A. Boilard, M. Hyland, J.L. Augustinavicius, D.P. Cardinali, and D.E. Vigo. 2013. Sleep and Quality of Life in Urban Poverty: The Effect of a Slum Housing Upgrading Programme. Sleep 36 (11): 1669–1676.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Simonelli, G., S. Patel, S. Rodríguez-Espínola, D. Pérez-Chada, A. Salvia, D. Cardinali, and D. Vigo. 2015. The Impact of Home Safety on Sleep in a Latin American Country. Sleep Health 1 (2): 98–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Solari, C.D., and R.D. Mare. 2011. Housing Crowding Effects on Children’s Wellbeing. Social Science Research 41 (2): 464–476.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Swain, R.B., and A. Varghese. 2009. Does Self Help Group Participation Lead to Asset Creation? World Development 37 (10): 1674–1682.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Tamer, E. 2010. Partial Identification in Econometrics. Annual Review of Economics 2 (1): 167–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. TECHO Argentina. 2013. Relevamiento de Asentamientos Informales 2013. https://issuu.com/techoargentina/docs/relevamientos_de_asentamientos_2013. Accessed 10 April 2016.
  43. TECHO Argentina. 2016. Relevamiento de Asentamientos Informales 2016. http://www.techo.org/paises/argentina/que-es-el-centro-de-investigacion-social-cis/www.techo.org.ar/relevamiento. Accessed 15 Jan 2017.
  44. Thomson, H., S. Thomas, E. Sellstrom, and M. Petticrew. 2009. The Health Impacts of Housing Improvement: A Systematic Review of Intervention Studies From 1887 to 2007. American Journal of Public Health 99 (Suppl. 3): S681–S692.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. UN-Habitat. 2016. World Cities Report 2016. Nairobi: United Nations Human Settlements Programme.Google Scholar
  46. White, H., and A. Barbu. 2006. Impact Evaluation—The Experience of the Independent Evaluation Group of the World Bank. Washington, DC: World Bank.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ann Mitchell
    • 1
  • Jimena Macció
    • 1
  • Diego Mariño Fages
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsPontificia Universidad Católica ArgentinaCiudad de Buenos AiresArgentina
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsUniversidad de San AndresVictoria, Pcia de Buenos AiresArgentina
  3. 3.Department of EconomicsUniversidad Nacional del NordesteResistenciaArgentina

Personalised recommendations