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Delinking Land Rights from Land Use: Certification and Migration in Mexico

Author

Listed:
  • Alain de Janvry
  • Kyle Emerick
  • Marco Gonzalez-Navarro
  • Elisabeth Sadoulet

Abstract

In many developing countries property rights over rural land are maintained through continuous personal use instead of by land titles. We show that removing the link between land use and land rights through the issuance of ownership certificates can result in large-scale adjustments to labor and land allocations. Using the rollout of the Mexican land certification program from 1993 to 2006, we find that households obtaining certificates were subsequently 28 percent more likely to have a migrant member. We also show that even though land certification induced migration, it had little effect on cultivated area due to consolidation of farm units. (JEL O13, O17, P14, Q15, Q18, Q24, Q28)

Suggested Citation

  • Alain de Janvry & Kyle Emerick & Marco Gonzalez-Navarro & Elisabeth Sadoulet, 2015. "Delinking Land Rights from Land Use: Certification and Migration in Mexico," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(10), pages 3125-3149, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:105:y:2015:i:10:p:3125-49
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20130853
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • P14 - Political Economy and Comparative Economic Systems - - Capitalist Economies - - - Property Rights
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy; Animal Welfare Policy
    • Q24 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Land
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy

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