Institutional Factors Affecting A Transitional City: An Integrated Perspective On Housing Market Development In Yangon, Myanmar

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This dissertation examined the development of the housing market in a transitional city that recently went through unprecedented political and economic changes. In Myanmar, the existing financial structure is underdeveloped, the legal system is compromised and the property rights regime is largely undefined. Despite these shortcomings, a countless number of transaction deals have been witnessed, along with competitive implementation of development projects and the growth of agents and brokers within the housing industry. Therefore, this study utilized mixed methodologies and searched for an integrated understanding of general mechanisms that shape the economic activities of market agents in Yangon. It was discovered that the institutional context of urban development is more complex than was initially expected. Government institutions dominate the societal space and have the largest influence upon the legal, social and economic spheres. Through institutional analyses of transaction and development processes, it was found that the majority of the institutions fail to create a conducive environment for the housing market. However, homebuyers and developers are able to work around institutional constraints by utilizing social networks and forging informal arrangements. A variety of strategies and creative approaches to business allow them to establish trust, build personal relationships and complete their tasks successfully. Based upon the qualitative and quantitative findings, the event-sequence models were presented in order to explain the actual workflow of homebuyers and developers. The institutional context was unpacked, along with a proposal for a theoretical model of institutional forces that constantly push and pull the economic activities of market agents. An integrated market model was suggested to shed further light on the market process for pre-sale housing units. Driven by the links between institutional mechanisms and social agencies, this model explains the unique structure of the market operating in Yangon.

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Housing Market; Institutions


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Donaghy,Kieran Patrick

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Baugher,Sherene Barbara
Williams,Linda Brooks

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City and Regional Planning

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Ph. D., City and Regional Planning

Degree Level

Doctor of Philosophy

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Government Document




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dissertation or thesis

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