Paavo Monkkonen

Paavo Monkkonen is Associate Professor of Urban Planning and Public Policy at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, director of the Latin American Cities Initiative, the coordinator of the Regional and International Development Concentration, and a Faculty Cluster Leader for the Global Public Affairs Initiative. Paavo researches and writes on the ways policies and markets shape urbanization and social segregation in cities around the world. His scholarship ranges from studies of large-scale national housing finance programs to local land use regulations and property rights institutions often not recognized for their importance to housing. Past and ongoing comparative research on socioeconomic segregation and land markets spans several countries including Argentina, Brazil, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, and the United States. Paavo continues to work as a consultant on national housing and urban policy in Mexico, where he has various long-term research projects.

At UCLA Luskin, Paavo teaches courses on housing markets and policy, applied microeconomics, research methods, and global urban segregation. He recently launched the Latin American Cities Initiative, Ciudades, an effort to develop and deepen knowledge networks among students, educators, and professionals in the arena of urban planning and policy in South, Central, and North America. One of the initiative’s core components is an international planning studio in Latin America (past studio reports available here).

Professor Monkkonen’s research has been published in journals such as the Journal of the American Planning Association, the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, the Journal of Urban Economics, Regional Science and Urban Economics, Urban Studies, World Development, and the Journal of Peasant Studies. In recent years, he has received research funding from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Urban Land Institute and LA Metro, the Regional Studies Association, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, and the UC Berkeley Terner Center for Housing Innovation. Examples of current projects include a comparative analysis of socio-economic segregation in over 600 cities in 13 countries, a comparison of how higher levels of government shape planning processes in California and Mexico, and a study of inertia in land markets through the evaluation of unbuilt zoned capacity in California’s urban areas.

Paavo completed a Master of Public Policy at the School of Public Affairs at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a PhD in City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley. He was previously Assistant Professor of Urban Planning at the University of Hong Kong from 2009 to 2012, and visiting scholar at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico in 2015.

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SELECTED BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS

Empty Houses across North America: Housing Finance and Mexico’s Vacancy Crisis. Monkkonen, Paavo. 2018. Urban Studies, forthcoming.

Urban Sprawl and the Growing Geographic Scale of Segregation in Mexico, 1990-2010. Monkkonen, Paavo, Jorge Montejano Escamilla, Erick Guerra, and Andre Comandon. 2018. Habitat International, 73 89-95.

Understanding and Challenging Opposition to Housing Construction in California’s Urban Areas
Monkkonen, Paavo. 2016.
University of California Center Sacramento.

Are civil-law notaries rent-seeking monopolists or essential market intermediaries? Endogenous development of a property rights institution in Mexico
Monkkonen, Paavo. 2016.
Journal of Peasant Studies, 43(6), 1224-1248.

Where are property rights worth more? Assessing variation in the value of deeds across cities in Mexico
Monkkonen, Paavo. 2016.
World Development, 88, 67-78.

Do Strict Land Use Regulations make Metropolitan Areas more Segregated by Income?
Michael Lens and Paavo Monkkonen. 2016
Journal of the American Planning Association, 82(1): 6-21.

How Economic Development Shapes Household Structure and the Age of Leaving Home and Household Formation: Evidence from 67 countries
Monkkonen, Paavo. 2015
UCLA Ziman Center Working Paper 2015-07.

Land Use Regulations and the Value of Land and Housing: An Intra-Metropolitan Analysis
Kok, Nils, Paavo Monkkonen and John M. Quigley. 2014
Journal of Urban Economics, 81(3): 136–148.

Innovative Measurement of Spatial Segregation: Comparative Evidence from Hong Kong and San Francisco. 
Monkkonen, Paavo and Xiaohu Zhang. 2014
Regional Science and Urban Economics, 47(3): 99-11.

Land Use Regulations, Compliance, and Land Markets in Argentina
Monkkonen, Paavo and Lucas Roconi. 2013
Urban Studies, 50(10): 1951-1969.

Housing Finance Reform and Increasing Socioeconomic Segregation in Mexico
Monkkonen, Paavo. 2012
International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 36(4): 757-772.

Economic Restructuring, Urban Growth, and Short-term Trades: The Spatial Dynamics of the Hong Kong Housing Market, 1992-2008
Monkkonen, Paavo, Kelvin SK Wong, and Jaclene Begley. 2012
Regional Science and Urban Economics, 42(3): 396-406.

The Demand for Land Regularization: Theory and Evidence from Tijuana, Mexico
Monkkonen, Paavo. 2012
Urban Studies, 49(2): 270-287.

The Housing Transition in Mexico: Expanding Access to Housing Finance
Monkkonen, Paavo. 2011
Urban Affairs Review, 47(5): 672-695.