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Escaping poverty traps?: Collective action and property rights in post-war rural Cambodia

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  • Weingart, Anne
  • Kirk, Michael
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    Abstract

    "This paper introduces and applies an analytical framework to study how formal and informal institutions influence socio-economic change and poverty reduction in rural Cambodia, giving specific reference to property rights and collective action. It focuses on emerging endogenous mechanisms of cooperation as well as on the role of external actors and instruments in forming or enhancing collective action institutions, and enforcing use and ownership rights among the rural poor. Within this framework key contextual factor, such as asset endowments, legal structures, and power relations, have an impact on poverty and rural livelihoods, but are also mediated and changed by property right regimes and local cooperation. Findings indicate that access to and use of natural capital still contributes significantly to rural incomes. Access to natural resources is, however, defined by multiple and overlapping rights, both private and common ones, which are, in turn, governed by formal and informal patterns of cooperation. Collective action also contributes to improve livelihoods. Nevertheless, depending on asset endowments, differences exist in the degree of participation. Owing to Cambodia's recent history of genocide, forced collectivization and resettlement, property rights regimes have been severely affected, remain contested, and are re-established only slowly. In this context, the mutual trust necessary for successful cooperation in common property issues is severely undermined." authors' abstract

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series CAPRi working papers with number 89.

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    Date of creation: 2008
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    Handle: RePEc:fpr:worpps:89

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    Keywords: Collective action; Property rights; Post-war; Rural development; Livelihoods;

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    References

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    1. Nathalie Steins & Victoria Edwards, 1999. "Platforms for collective action in multiple-use common-pool resources," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 241-255, September.
    2. Laura Schechter, 2005. "Traditional trust measurement and the risk confound: An experiment in rural paraguay," Artefactual Field Experiments 00106, The Field Experiments Website.
    3. Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela & Pradhan, Rajendra, 2002. "Legal pluralism and dynamic property rights:," CAPRi working papers 22, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Bernhard Heitger, 2003. "Property Rights and their Impact on the Wealth of Nations-A Cross-Country Study," Kiel Working Papers 1163, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
    5. Dietz, Thomas, 2005. "The Darwinian trope in the drama of the commons: variations on some themes by the Ostroms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 205-225, June.
    6. Prescott, N. & Pradhan, M., 1997. "A Poverty Profile of Cambodia," World Bank - Discussion Papers 373, World Bank.
    7. Knox, Anna & Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela & Hazell, P. B. R., 1998. "Property rights, collective action and technologies for natural resource management: a conceptual framework," CAPRi working papers 1, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    8. Gregorio, Monica Di & Hagedorn, Konrad & Kirk, Michael & Korf, Benedikt & McCarthy, Nancy & Meinzen-Dick, Ruth & Swallow, Brent, 2008. "Property rights, collective Action, and poverty: The role of institutions for poverty reduction," CAPRi working papers 81, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    9. Adhikari, Bhim, 2005. "Poverty, property rights and collective action: understanding the distributive aspects of common property resource management," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(01), pages 7-31, February.
    10. Berg Joyce & Dickhaut John & McCabe Kevin, 1995. "Trust, Reciprocity, and Social History," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 122-142, July.
    11. Baran, E., 2005. "Cambodian inland fisheries: fact, figures and context," Working Papers, The WorldFish Center, number 36622.
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