Economic Efficiency or Urban Quality of Life?
Something policy makers and urban practitioners in India need to think about desperately. infrastructure, shelter, services…are absolutely necessary to fight urban poverty
“Paving Streets for the Poor: Experimental Analysis of Infrastructure Effects” is an economics paperpublished last month by Marco Gonzalez-Navarro and Climent Quintana-Domeque. According to the abstract, “This study is the first providing experimental [economic] evidence on the role of infrastructure in reducing poverty for the urban poor.” The research focuses on the material conditions of residents of Acayucan, Veracruz, Mexico, before and after their street is paved for the first time. The authors show that households’ acquisition of durable goods, motor vehicle ownership, home improvements, and collateral credit use increased, and that according to their cost-benefit analysis, the return was at least as much as the investment. Gonzalez-Navarro is affiliated with J-PAL, the Jameel Poverty Action Lab, whose stated mission is to “reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is based on scientific evidence…J-PAL and its partners are driven by a shared belief in the power of scientific evidence…
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