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Land tenure reform and grassland degradation in Inner Mongolia, China

Author

Listed:
  • Liu, Min
  • Dries, Liesbeth
  • Heijman, Wim
  • Zhu, Xueqin
  • Deng, Xiangzheng
  • Huang, Jikun

Abstract

Since the start of the land tenure reform in the pastoral areas of China in the 1980s, grassland use rights have increasingly been assigned to individual households. However, this period has also been accompanied by extensive grassland degradation in China, which has raised the question of whether a tragedy of privatisation has occurred. This paper investigates the impact of land tenure reform on the changes in grassland condition, using data from 60 counties in Inner Mongolia between 1985 and 2008. A fixed effects model is employed to control for time-invariant factors. Two alternative model specifications in terms of land tenure reform and time-variant factors are conducted to verify the robustness of the estimation results. The results show that land tenure reform did not affect the grassland condition significantly, and the major drivers of grassland degradation include the land use change and the increase in market demand (meat prices). Thereby, we provide empirical evidence that the privatisation of grasslands did not cause grassland degradation in Inner Mongolia, China.

Suggested Citation

  • Liu, Min & Dries, Liesbeth & Heijman, Wim & Zhu, Xueqin & Deng, Xiangzheng & Huang, Jikun, 2019. "Land tenure reform and grassland degradation in Inner Mongolia, China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 181-198.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:55:y:2019:i:c:p:181-198
    DOI: 10.1016/j.chieco.2019.04.006
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Land tenure reform; Privatisation; Grassland degradation; Fixed effects model; China;

    JEL classification:

    • Q11 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Aggregate Supply and Demand Analysis; Prices
    • 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
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth

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