Measuring Housing Quality in the Absence of a Monetized Real Estate Market: The Case of Rural Northeast Thailand
Martin Piotrowski, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Varachai Thongthai, Mahidol University
Pramote Prasartkul, Mahidol University
Dwelling units are found universally throughout every society. The quality of accommodations can vary considerably from household to household, and in some contexts, creating a measure of housing quality can be quite difficult. In many settings, putting a price on a dwelling unit is fairly straightforward. However, in settings where an active real estate market does not exist, where household members supply the labor themselves to construct their house, and where houses are frequently constructed or improved incrementally over time, it is extremely difficult to monetize the value of dwelling units. In this paper we develop a new approach to the measurement of housing quality as part of a larger on-going longitudinal data collection in Nang Rong, Thailand. We develop a method of measuring the relative quality rating of several dwelling units that takes advantage of general knowledge within an area as to what constitutes high-quality versus low quality housing.