Peer and selection effects among neighbors in urban public housing in India

Principal Investigators: Rohini Pande and Erica Field
Research Team: Anvesha Khandelwal
LEAD Centre: Centre for Microfinance
Focus Area: Infrastructure & Governance
Project Geography: Gujarat, India
Partner: Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority (AUDA)
Status: Completed


The project takes advantage of a large government housing program for the economically weaker sections of urban India: individuals in Gujarat meeting income criteria could apply in 2002 for a subsidised apartment in Ahmedabad. Over 17,000 applications were received, and as a result clusters of apartments have different levels of caste diversity. Beginning with an in-depth building census of current residents, the study proposes to examine current residency rates, peer and selection effects among low-income neighbors, and social diversity. This project will not only contribute to the growing literature on peer and selection effects in developing countries, but also how the caste-based diversity of neighbours affects the probability of taking up and staying in public housing.

Research Questions
We will try to answer the following key questions in this research study:

–     What type of peer and selection effects are there among low income neighbours?
–     To what extent does caste-based diversity determine the probability of people taking up and staying in public housing?


This study will involve a census survey of 360 households in Muralidar housing complex in Ahmedabad, which will begin in February 2009.