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Real estate activity, democracy and land rights in rural China

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  • Li, Shi
  • Vendryes, Thomas

Abstract

Land-related conflicts have become a major cause of social unrest in China. It is common indeed for the institutional changes that accompany development to generate tensions and frictions, notably regarding land rights. Using survey data on land practices and governance in Chinese villages and prefecture-level statistics about investment in the real estate sector, we show that administrative reallocations of village land by local authorities increase with the level of real estate activity and that this effect is mitigated by the development of village-level democracy. These results are consistent with those of the handful of existing empirical studies on this topic. We thus provide empirical insight into the factors governing the evolution of land rights and land institutions in rural areas in China and the related conflicts, as well as, more generally, into the dynamics of institutional change.

Suggested Citation

  • Li, Shi & Vendryes, Thomas, 2018. "Real estate activity, democracy and land rights in rural China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 54-79.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:52:y:2018:i:c:p:54-79
    DOI: 10.1016/j.chieco.2018.05.004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Aidt, Toke S. & Hillman, Arye L. & Qijun, LIU, 2020. "Who takes bribes and how much? Evidence from the China Corruption Conviction Databank," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 133(C).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Land rights; Urban expansion; Governance; China;

    JEL classification:

    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • P26 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Political Economy
    • P48 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment

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