Paavo Monkkonen

Paavo Monkkonen

Vice Chair, Department of Urban Planning; Associate Professor of Urban Planning and Public Policy


Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning, University of California, Berkeley
M.P.P in Public Policy, University of California, Los Angeles

Areas of Interest:

Housing, International Development, Latin America, Spatial Analysis, Urban Economics, Urban Public Finance


(310) 482-7733


Office Location:

5278, Public Affairs

Office Hours:

Paavo Monkkonen is Associate Professor of Urban Planning at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. He researches and writes on the ways policies and markets shape urban development and social segregation in cities around the world. Paavo’s scholarship ranges from studies of large-scale housing finance programs to land use regulations and property rights institutions often not recognized for their importance to housing. His comparative research on socioeconomic segregation and land markets is broad ranging, spanning several countries including Argentina, Brazil, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, and the United States. He continues to work as a consultant on national housing and urban policy in Mexico, where he has various longstanding research projects.

At UCLA Luskin, Paavo teaches courses on housing markets and policy, applied microeconomics, research methods, and global urban segregation. He recently launched an international planning studio examining the institutional infrastructure of the housing market in Tijuana, Mexico. Paavo is the coordinator of the Regional and International Development Concentration and a Faculty Cluster Leader for the Global Public Affairs Initiative.

His 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 EconomicsUrban StudiesWorld Development, and the Journal of Peasant Studies. In recent years, Paavo has received research funding from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Regional Studies Association, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, the UCLA Ziman Center, the UCLA Asia Institute, the Global Development Network, and the the Inter-American Development Bank.

Current projects include a comparative analysis of socio-economic segregation in over 600 cities in 13 countries, an exploratory examination of the relationship between neighborhood social mix and social networks in Hong Kong, an evaluation of the role of urban form in agglomeration economies across Mexico, a study of the impacts of the housing boom and bust on the spending decisions of local governments in the United States, and a study of the land market impacts of Mexico City’s new airport.

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.

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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, Forthcoming.

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

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.

 The Role of Housing Finance in Mexico’s Vacancy Crisis
Monkkonen, Paavo. 2014
UCLA Ziman Center Working Paper 2014-22.

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.

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