The housing policy assessment and its application to Panama

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This paper presents a diagnostic tool for the rapid assessment of the housing market and housing policy in a given country, using a global comparative perspective. The aim of such an assessment is to ground proposed government interventions in the housing market in a broader housing market reform. The rapid assessment requires defining the critical components of housing policy and the key dimensions of housing market performance. The general methodology for the assessment was developed by the author in his recent book, Housing Policy Matters: A Global Analysis (Oxford Univ. Press, New York, Oxford, 2000). The book itself is based on two earlier foundations: (a) a conceptual framework for housing policy, developed by the author and the late Stephen Mayo in the 1993 World Bank housing policy paper, Housing: Enabling Markets to Work (World Bank, Washington, D.C., 1993); and (b) the comparative set of housing indicators for 53 countries, defined, tested, and assembled by the author and the late Stephen Mayo-together with independent consultants in each country-during 1990-1994 in the Housing Indicators Program, a joint program of the World Bank and the U.N. Centre for Human Settlements. In the past two years, the author has conducted eight housing policy assessments in Central and South America. In this article, he uses the study conducted in Panama to illustrate the usefulness of this diagnostic framework, and to demonstrate how to derive specific policy recommendations from a general comparative analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)176-209
Number of pages34
JournalJournal of Housing Economics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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