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Forestland Reform in China: What Do the Farmers Want? A Choice Experiment in Farmers’ Property Rights Preferences

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  • Qin, Ping
  • Carlsson, Fredrik
  • Xu, Jinato

    ()
    (Resources for the Future)

Abstract

Various decentralization experiments are currently underway in the Chinese forestry sector. However, a key question often ignored by researchers and policymakers addresses what farmers really want from reform. This paper uses a survey-based choice experiment to investigate farmers’ preferences for various property-rights attributes of a forestland contract. We found that farmers are highly concerned with what types of rights a contract provides. Reducing perceived risks of contract termination and introducing a priority right in the renewal of an old contract significantly increase farmers’ marginal willingness to pay for a forest contract. An extended waiting time for rights to harvest the forest reduces a farmer’s perceived value of a contract. Farmers are also concerned with the tenure length. In one region, the annual willingness to pay for a 50-year contract is even higher than the annual willingness to pay for 25-year contract.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-08-35-rev-efd.

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Date of creation: 15 Dec 2008
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Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-08-35-rev-efd

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Keywords: China; choice experiment; forest; MWTP; property rights;

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References

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  1. Jacoby, Hanan G. & Li, Guo & Rozelle, Scott, 2002. "Hazards Of Expropriation:Tenure Insecurity And Investment In Rural China," Working Papers 11960, University of California, Davis, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
  2. Kelvin J. Lancaster, 1966. "A New Approach to Consumer Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 132.
  3. Rozelle, Scott & Li, Guo, 1998. "Village Leaders and Land-Rights Formation in China," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 433-38, May.
  4. 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.
  5. Brasselle, Anne-Sophie & Gaspart, Frederic & Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 2002. "Land tenure security and investment incentives: puzzling evidence from Burkina Faso," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 373-418, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Gelo, Dambala & Koch, Steven F., 2012. "Does one size fit all? Heterogeneity in the valuation of community forestry programs," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 85-94.
  2. Justin Visagie & Dorrit Posel, 2011. "A reconsideration of what and who is middle class in South Africa," Working Papers 249, Economic Research Southern Africa.

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