UP 239 Special Topics in Regional and International Development
Urban Policy and Housing Markets: Increasing Infill in Tijuana, Mexico
Instructor: Paavo Monkkonen
A. Course Description
After two decades of what is now being called by many a failed policy or even a major planning disaster, the federal government of Mexico is attempting to reverse the impacts of a massive increase in housing finance across the country through a series of policies promoting compact cities and ‘densification.’ Reforms attempt to direct new housing loans to the central areas of a city, emphasize lending for ‘used’ housing rather than new housing built by developers, and modernize property registries and land cadasters. In this studio course, we will examine the ‘institutional infrastructure’ of the housing market of Tijuana, Mexico. I use the term institutional infrastructure to refer to the legal, financial and planning systems, as well as public services, the real estate development process, real estate agents and social norms around property transactions.
In this course, we will assess whether and how this infrastructure can be reformed to promote federal government goals of infill development and higher urban densities as well as other goals such as improved quality of life. The course will thus address policy issues as well as more abstract questions about the possibility of effective policy reform and the social construction of property markets. For the latter, we will engage with theory on how markets are enacted and performed, and contrast their operation in the United States and Mexico.
The course features lectures, seminar sessions, guest speaker presentations, and two trips to Tijuana. Students will work in small teams to carry out guided research, produce a research report, and present findings to classmates and invited guests from Mexico.
B. Course Objectives
By the end of the quarter, students will:
– Understand the urban policy environment in Mexico and the housing market in Tijuana
– Understand contemporary debates about property rights for land and housing in developing countries
– Develop their own arguments about what the social construction of property markets means and the implications of the same for policy
– Complete and present a professional analysis of one component of the housing market in which they recommend at least one specific reform in the case of Tijuana
C. Course format and assignments
This course will be a combination of formats, including lecture/discussion, pure seminar and studio. Students are expected to read the week’s material before the class session. This is extremely important and, as such, a short reading quiz will be implemented in week’s 1-3, 6 & 8. In total these quizzes will count for 20 percent of the course grade. The bulk of the course grade is the group report (50 percent) and presentation (20 percent). The final 10 percent is from class participation, which refers primarily to contributing to discussions and attending classes and other events.
By the end of the course, we will produce a report, which I hope will be of high enough quality to make public as a product of UCLA’s Department of Urban Planning. Students will separate into groups of three, and these five groups will research and write one section. Each section will focus on one aspect of the institutional infrastructure of Tijuana’s property market. Possible section topics are property rights/legal system, housing finance, urban planning regulations, public service access and provision, real estate development, real estate agents / property transactions and social norms around property transactions. There is some flexibility as to how we define these institutional areas.
Please form groups and define the section (in consultation with instructor) you wish to work on by Week 3. A draft proposal for your research plan and literature review is due in class in Week 4. The full research plan and completed literature review is due in Week 6. Draft presentations and discussion of work in progress in Week 9. 3
D. Schedule of Weekly Topics and Activities
Week 1: (March 29) Lecture/discussion: Can we “get the housing policy environment right”?
Week 2: (April 5) Lecture/discussion Housing in Mexico: History and recent changes
Week 3: (April 12) Lecture/discussion: The social construction of property markets
Week 4: (April 19) Research symposium: Housing Markets in Tijuana and Cancun
Week 5: (April 26) Class trip to Tijuana
Week 6: (May 3) Lecture/discussion: Housing and property rights in Mexico
Week 7: (May 10) Working group research trip
Week 8: (May 17) Lecture/discussion: Urban containment and ‘densification’ policy
Week 9: (May 24) Draft presentations and discussion of work in progress
Week 10: (May 31) Lecture/discussion: Implementation and policy reform
Finals week: (June 7) Final presentations and reports due
E. Readings by Week
Most readings available on the internet, if not will be sent via email (as indicated by (email)):
Week 1. The housing policy environment: “getting it right”
Angel, Shlomo. 2001. The Housing Policy Assessment and Its Application to Panama. Journal of Housing Economics 10, 176–209.
DiPasquale, Denise, and William C. Wheaton. 1996. Urban Economics and Real Estate Markets. Chapter 1. (email)
Rodriguez-Pose, Andrés. 2013. Do Institutions Matter for Regional Development? Regional Studies 47(7): 1034-47.
Organization of Economic Cooperation Development. 2015. OECD Urban Policy Reviews Mexico Transforming Urban Policy and Housing Finance. Executive Summary & Chapter 3. Getting Mexican Cities Right. (email)
Gonzalez Navarro, Marco and Climent Quintana-Domeque. 2009. The reliability of self-reported home values in a developing country context. Journal of Housing Economics 18(4): 311-324.
Acemoglu, Daron, Simon Johnson, and James Robinson. 2005. “Institutions as a Fundamental Cause of Long Run Growth.” pp 358-472 in Aghion and Durlauf (eds.) Handbook of Economic Growth, Vol. 12005. (email)
La Porta, Rafael, Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes, and Andrei Shleifer. 2008. The economic consequences of legal origins. Journal of Economic Literature 46 (2): 285–332.
Glaeser, Edward, Rafael La Porta, Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes, and Andrei Shleifer. 2004 Do
Institutions Cause Growth? Journal of Economic Growth
Glaeser, Edward, Joseph Gyouko, and Albert Saiz. 2008. Housing Supply and Housing Bubbles. Journal of Urban Economics
Williamson, Oliver. 1981. The Economics of Organization: The Transactions Cost Approach American Journal of Sociology 87(3).
Renaud, B. 1987. Another look at housing finance in developing countries. Cities 4: 28–33.
Week 2. Housing in Mexico: History and recent changes
Organization of Economic Cooperation Development. 2015. OECD Urban Policy Reviews Mexico Transforming Urban Policy and Housing Finance. Chapter 1, 2, and 4. (email)
Monkkonen, Paavo. 2011. The Housing Transition in Mexico: Expanding Access to Housing Finance. 2011. Urban Affairs Review, 47(5): 672-695.
Presentation by SEDATU at meeting of UN Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management
Please skim: SEDESOL. 2012. La expansión de las ciudades: 1980-2010. (email)
Eckstein, Susan. 1990. Poor people versus the state and capital: anatomy of a successful community mobilization for housing in Mexico City. IJURR.
Ward, Peter. 2015. Housing Rehab for Consolidated Informal Settlements: A New Policy Agenda for 2016 UN-Habitat III. Habitat International 373-384
SEDATU. Programa Nacional de Desarrollo Urbano 2014-2018 5
Herbert, Christopher E., Eric S. Belsky, and Nicholas DuBroff. 2012. The State of Mexico’s Housing – Recent Progress and Continued Challenges.
Week 3. The social construction of property markets
Shiller, Robert. 2000. “Irrational Exuberance.” Princeton University Press. Ch. 7-9. (email)
The Economist. Christie’s v the People’s Army, Sept. 28, 2013.
Hartman, Georgia. Things are People Too! Michel Callon and the Performance of Economy. Mimeo (email)
Mitchell, Timothy. 1998. Fixing the Economy Cultural Studies
Mitchell, Timothy. The Properties of Markets: Informal Housing and Capitalism’s Mystery. Institute for Advanced Studies in Social and Management Sciences, University of Lancaster, Cultural Political Economy Working Paper Series. (email)
Nuijten, Monique. 2003. Family Property and the Limits of Intervention: The Article 27 Reforms and the PROCEDE Programme in Mexico Development and Change 34(3) 475–497.
Levy, Juliette. 2010. Notaries and Credit Markets in 19th Century Mexico. Business History Review.
Azuela, Antonio. 2011 Property in the Post-Post-Revolution: Notes on the Crisis of the Constitutional Idea of Property in Contemporary Mexico. Texas Law Review 89 (1915).
Zaloom, Caitlin. Out of the Pits: Traders and Technology from Chicago to London. Chapter 1: The Materialities of the Market
Elyachar, Julia. Markets of Dispossession: NGOs, Economic Development, and the State in Cairo. Chapter 2: A Home For Markets
Mitchell, Timothy – “The Properties of Markets,” in Do Economists Make Markets? On the Performativity of Markets
Week 4. Research symposium: Housing Markets in Tijuana and Cancun
Carrasco Gallegos, Brisa Violeta. 2009. Tijuana: Border, Migration, and Gated Communities. Journal of the Southwest, 51(4): 457-475.
Alegría, Tito. 2008. Interpretacion del Nuevo Patrón de Crecimiento Urbano y del rol de la Planeación en las ciudades de Mexico. Investigaciones en Ciudad & Arquitectura. (email)
Connolly, Priscilla. 1998. “Urban Planning and Segmented Land Markets” in Jones, G. and Ward, P. (eds) Methodology for Land and Housing Market Analysis. (email)
Azuela de la Cueva, Antonio. 1987. Low income settlements and the law in Mexico City. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 11(4): 522–542.
Alegría, Tito. 2008. The Solution is not architectural: Housing Problems of the Poor in Tijuana. Harvard Design Magazine. (email)
Montezemolo, Fiamma. 2005. Tijuana no es Tijuana. Representaciones en Fragmentos al Margen de la Frontera. AIBR. Revista de Antropología Iberoamericana, 42. (email)
Herzon, Lawrence. 1991. Cross-national Urban Structure in the Era of Global Cities: The US-Mexico Transfrontier Metropolis. Urban Studies, 28: 4519-4533.
Week 5. In Tijuana no readings
Week 6. Housing and property rights in Mexico
Monkkonen, Paavo. 2016. Understanding the role of notaries in property registration in Mexico: Rent-seeking monopolists or essential market intermediaries? Mimeo. (email)
Assies, Willem. 2008. Land tenure and tenure regimes in Mexico: an overview. Journal of Agrarian Change 8 (1): 33–63.
Jones, Gareth and Ward, Peter. 1998. Privatizing the commons: Reforming the ejido and urban development in Mexico. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 22(1): 76–93.
Hartman, Georgia. Land, Property, and the Historical Context for the Creation of the Mexican Ejido. Working Paper.
Varley. Ann. 1987. The Relationship between Tenure Legalization and Housing Improvements: Evidence from Mexico City. Development and Change.
Monkkonen, Paavo. 2016. Who values property rights more and where? Assessing variation in the value of deeds across cities in Mexico. Mimeo (email)
Monkkonen, Paavo. 2012. The Demand for Land Regularization: Theory and Evidence from Tijuana, Mexico. Urban Studies, 49(2): 270-287.
Perramond, E. 2008. The rise, fall, and reconfiguration of the ejido. Geogra 98 (3): 356–71.
Week 7. In Tijuana no readings
Week 8. Urban containment and ‘densification’ policies in Mexico
Bengston, David, Jennifer O Fletcher, and Kristen C. Nelson. 2004. Public policies for managing urban growth and protecting open space: policy instruments and lessons learned in the United States. Landscape and Urban Planning, 69: 271–286.
McConnell, Virginia and Keith Wiley. 2010. Infill Development: Perspectives and Evidence from Economics and Planning. Resources for the Future Discussion Paper.
Peña, Sergio. 2011. Recent Trends and Practice in Spatial Planning in Mexico: The Municipal Planning and Research Institutes. Gestion y Politica Publica XXI(2): 408-450. (email)
Week 9. Presentations no readings
Week 10. Implementation and policy reform
Pressman, Jeffrey and Aaron Wildavsky. 1973. Implementation–How Great Expectations in Washington Are Dashed in Oakland; Or, Why It’s Amazing that Federal Programs Work At All, This Being a Saga of the Economic Development Administration as Told by Two Sympathetic Observers Who Seek to Build Morals on a Foundation of Ruined Hopes. Buy the book!
Dolowitz, David and Marsh, David. 2000. Learning from Abroad: The Role of Policy Transfer in Contemporary Policy-Making Governance: An International Journal of Policy and Administration 13(1): 5–24.
Ward, Peter M. 1995. “Policy Making and Policy Implementation Among Non-PRI governments: The PAN in Ciudad Juárez and in Chihuahua,” in Opposition Government in Mexico. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. (email) 8
Fuentes Flores, Cesar and Luis Cervera Gomez. 2004. “La gestión del suelo urbano en Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua: La difícil transición de la gobernabilidad autoritaria a la gobernabilidad democrática.” In Payan Alvarado, Luis Antonio and Tabuenca Cordoba, Maria Socorro (Eds). Gobernabilidad o ingobernabilidad en la región Paso del Norte.
Cabrero, Enrique. 1995. La nueva gestión municipal en México: Analysis de experiencias innovadoras en gobiernos locales. Mexico: Centro de Investigaciones y Docencia Económica