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Poverty and Landownership


  • Moene, Karl Ove


The author studies how landownership affects labor allocation, income distribution, and poverty in less-developed countries. He focuses on three prototypes of ownership classes: landlords, smallholders, and landless people. Agents are identical except for their ownership of assets. On the basis of optimizing behavior, they divide into urban workers in the modern sector, urban workers in the informal sector, agricultural laborers, subsistence farmers, and landlords. The impact of land reform on production and poverty depends on the amount of fertile land per capita. A more egalitarian distribution of landownership reduces poverty where land is scarce but not where land is abundant. Copyright 1992 by American Economic Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Moene, Karl Ove, 1992. "Poverty and Landownership," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 52-64, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:82:y:1992:i:1:p:52-64

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Deaton, Angus S & Muellbauer, John, 1986. "On Measuring Child Costs: With Applications to Poor Countries," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 720-744, August.
    2. Timothy Smeeding & Gunther Schmaus & Brigitte Buhmann & Lee Rainwater, 1988. "Equivalence Scales, Well-Being, Inequality and Poverty: Sensitivity Estimates Across Ten Countries Using the LIS Database," LIS Working papers 17, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    3. Levy, Frank & Murnane, Richard J, 1992. "U.S. Earnings Levels and Earnings Inequality: A Review of Recent Trends and Proposed Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1333-1381, September.
    4. David M. Cutler & Lawrence F. Katz, 1991. "Macroeconomic Performance and the Disadvantaged," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(2), pages 1-74.
    5. Rebecca M. Blank, 1991. "Why Were Poverty Rates So High in the 1980s?," NBER Working Papers 3878, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Antonia Díaz Rodríguez, 1997. "Land reform and individual property rights," Working Papers. Serie AD 1997-01, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    2. Juliano Junqueira Assunção, 2005. "Non-agricultural land use and land reform: theory and evidence from Brazil," Textos para discussão 496, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
    3. Bhaumik, Sumon Kumar & Gang, Ira N. & Yun, Myeong-Su, 2006. "Ethnic conflict and economic disparity: Serbians and Albanians in Kosovo," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 754-773, December.
    4. Carter, Michael R. & Zimmerman, Frederick J., 2000. "The dynamic cost and persistence of asset inequality in an agrarian economy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 265-302, December.
    5. Dimova, Ralitza & Wolff, François-Charles, 2008. "Are private transfers poverty and inequality reducing? Household level evidence from Bulgaria," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 584-598, December.
    6. Johane Dikgang & Edwin Muchapondwa, 2016. "The Effect of Land Restitution on Poverty Reduction among the Khomani San “Bushmen” in South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 84(1), pages 63-80, March.
    7. Ravallion, Martin & van de Walle, Dominique, 2008. "Does rising landlessness signal success or failure for Vietnam's agrarian transition?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 191-209, October.
    8. Khan, M. Ali Khan, 2007. "The Harris-Todaro Hypothesis," MPRA Paper 2201, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Deininger, Klaus, 1999. "Making Negotiated Land Reform Work: Initial Experience from Colombia, Brazil and South Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 651-672, April.
    10. Gersbach, Hans & Siemers, Lars-H. R., 2010. "Land Reforms And Economic Development," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(04), pages 527-547, September.
    11. Antonia Diaz, 2000. "On the Political Economy of Latin American Land Reforms," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 3(3), pages 551-571, July.
    12. Sumon Kumar Bhaumik & Ira N Gang & Myeong-Su Yun, 2009. "Rationality as a Barrier to Peace: Micro-evidence from Kosovo," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 51(2), pages 242-264, June.
    13. Sumon Bhaumik & Ira Gang & Myeong-Su Yun, 2005. "Ethnic Conflict and Economic Disparity: Serbians & Albanians in Kosovo," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp808, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    14. Fields,Gary S., 2005. "A guide to multisector labor market models," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 32547, The World Bank.
    15. Jonathan H. Conning & James A. Robinson, 2001. "Land Reform and the Political Organization of Agriculture," Department of Economics Working Papers 2001-10, Department of Economics, Williams College.
    16. Fuwa, Nobuhiko, 2000. "Politics and Economics of Land Reform in the Philippines: a survey," MPRA Paper 23394, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Fields, Gary S., 2005. "A welfare economic analysis of labor market policies in the Harris-Todaro model," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 127-146, February.
    18. Proto, Eugenio, 2007. "Land and the transition from a dual to a modern economy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 88-108, May.
    19. Dong, Xiao-Yuan, 1996. "Two-tier land tenure system and sustained economic growth in post-1978 rural China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 915-928, May.

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