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Population Growth and Customary Law on Land: The Case of Cordillera Villages in the Philippines

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  • Lorelei Crisologo-Mendoza;

    (KU Leuven, Belguim and UP College Baguio, Philippines)

  • Dirk Van de gaer

    ()

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    Abstract

    This paper examines how a traditional village deals with the consequences of population growth. The increase in population demands more intensive use of the land which requires the transformation of commonly-owned land into privately-owned land. Customary law contains clear prescriptions about the circumstances under which a couple can privatize land. We estimate this land accumulation rule using date from two villages in the Cordillera Region of the Philippines. In order to study the evolution of the distribution of land, we model the inheritance practices of the community which constitutes another aspect of customary law. Finally, we use the model to show that despite the flexibility of the customary law on land, the present rapid growth of the population given the limited availability of land leads to its breakdown. This could be avoided only if seven out of ten children are able to make a living from occupations other than farming.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth in its series Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series with number n761197.

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    Length: 30 pages
    Date of creation: Nov 1997
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:may:mayecw:n761197

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    Keywords: Population Growth;

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    1. Feder, Gershon & Feeny, David, 1991. "Land Tenure and Property Rights: Theory and Implications for Development Policy," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 5(1), pages 135-53, January.
    2. David Feeny & Susan Hanna & Arthur F. McEvoy, 1996. "Questioning the Assumptions of the "Tragedy of the Commons" Model of Fisheries," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 72(2), pages 187-205.
    3. Balisacan, Arsenio M., 1991. "Agricultural Growth, Landlessness, Off-Farm Employment and Rural Poverty in the Philippines," 1991 Conference (35th), February 11-14, 1991, Armidale, Australia 145723, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    4. Davies, James B & Zhang, Junsen, 1995. "Gender Bias, Investments in Children, and Bequests," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(3), pages 795-818, August.
    5. Frank Cowell, 1998. "Inheritance and the distribution of wealth," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2124, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    6. Migot-Adholla, Shem, et al, 1991. "Indigenous Land Rights Systems in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Constraint on Productivity?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 5(1), pages 155-75, January.
    7. Blinder, Alan S, 1973. "A Model of Inherited Wealth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(4), pages 608-26, November.
    8. Feder, Gershon & Noronha, Raymond, 1987. "Land Rights Systems and Agricultural Development in Sub-Saharan Afric a," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 2(2), pages 143-69, July.
    9. Quisumbing, A.R., 1991. "Intergenerational Transfers in Philippine Rice Villages: Gender Differences in Traditional Inheritance Customs," Papers 632, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
    10. Pryor, Frederic L, 1973. "Simulation of the Impact of Social and Economic Institutions on the Size Distribution of Income and Wealth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(1), pages 50-72, March.
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