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Unequal Property Rights: A study of land right inequalities in Rwanda

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  • Isaksson, Ann-Sofie

    ()
    (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

Abstract

The aim of the present paper is to examine the existence and patterns of systematic within-country inequalities in effective land rights in Rwanda. The results of empirical estimations drawing on data on the land tenure arrangements of over 5,000 Rwandan households indeed suggest systematic within-country inequalities in land rights, with households headed by women or young individuals, households that have been displaced due to conflict, and households in the Imidugudu village settlements reporting significantly weaker rights than their respective comparison groups. The observed inequalities are not only the result of variation in tenure arrangements, but also exist when comparing households cultivating plots under similar land tenure regimes. Finding within-country inequalities in effective property rights highlights the need to – unlike much of the quantitative literature in the field – carefully evaluate how property rights apply to different segments of a country’s population. For Rwanda, which is in the process of implementing an extensive land reform, this is especially relevant.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 507.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: 15 Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0507

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Postal: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, SE 405 30 GÖTEBORG, Sweden
Phone: 031-773 10 00
Web page: http://www.handels.gu.se/econ/
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Keywords: property rights; land rights; inequality; Rwanda;

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  1. Isaksson, Ann-Sofie, 2008. "Social divisions and institutions: Assessing institutional parameter variation," Working Papers in Economics 282, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics, revised 01 Aug 2008.
  2. Deininger, Klaus W. & Ali, Daniel Ayalew & Yamano, Takashi, 2006. "Legal knowledge and economic development: The case of land rights in Uganda," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA 21197, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
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  5. Andre, Catherine & Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 1998. "Land relations under unbearable stress: Rwanda caught in the Malthusian trap," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 1-47, January.
  6. Isaksson, Ann-Sofie, 2011. "Manipulating the rural landscape: Villagisation and income generation in Rwanda," Working Papers in Economics 510, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  7. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2002. "Reversal Of Fortune: Geography And Institutions In The Making Of The Modern World Income Distribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1231-1294, November.
  8. Field, Erica Marie, 2005. "Property Rights and Investment in Urban Slums," Scholarly Articles 3634150, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  11. Sebastian Galiani & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2010. "Property Rights for the Poor: Effects of Land Titling," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0103, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
  12. Yanagizawa, David, 2006. "Malthus in Rwanda? Scarcity, Survival and Causes of the Genocide," Working Papers in Economics 201, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics, revised 31 Aug 2006.
  13. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Lastarria-Cornhiel, Susana, 1997. "Impact of privatization on gender and property rights in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(8), pages 1317-1333, August.
  15. Besley, Timothy, 1995. "Property Rights and Investment Incentives: Theory and Evidence from Ghana," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 903-37, October.
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  17. Deininger, Klaus & Goyal, Aparajita & Nagarajan, Hari, 2010. "Inheritance law reform and women's access to capital : evidence from India's Hindu succession act," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5338, The World Bank.
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