There Is No Free House: Ethnic Patronage in a Kenyan Slum
Thomas M. Stoker
- American Economic Journal: Applied Economics (Forthcoming)
Using unique data from one of Africa’s largest informal settlements, the Kibera slum in Nairobi, we provide evidence of ethnic patronage in the determination of rental prices and investments. Slum residents pay higher rents and live in lower quality housing (measured via satellite pictures) when the landlord and the locality chief belong to the same ethnicity. Conversely, rental prices are lower, and investments higher when residents and chiefs are co-ethnics. Our identification relies on the exogenous appointment of chiefs and is supported by several tests, including a regression discontinuity design.
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