Event Date: 10th December 2010
Speaker: Dr. Abhay Pethe
Respondent: V.K. Phatak
Chairperson: D.M. Sukthankar
Venue: Urban Design Research Institute

The paper is based on the premise that weak institutional structures pertaining to land management in Mumbai have led to high transactions costs and informal, less transparent systems of interaction among government authorities and private sector players such as builders and land owners thereby impeding efficient functioning of land markets. The paper analysed these dynamics through empirical studies of urban land management (the most valuable asset at stake in urbanisation) using core economic principles of incentive compatibility (the goodness of law), the one price principle (no arbitrage) and stock-flow relationships. In so doing it utilized a conceptual framework spanning: the Principal- Agent model; the consequences of asymmetric information; the intermediate role of Supervisors (judiciary, media and civil society agents); as well as decentralization post the 74th constitutional amendment in the context of finances for provision of amenities & shrinking fiscal space for the States. The paper argued that whereas one would want to see simplification in the cause of greater transparency and accountability, one needs to guard against oversimplification given the essentially multifaceted and complex nature of the microcosm of governance.