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Property rights, land liquidity, and internal migration

Author

Listed:
  • Chernina, Eugenia
  • Castañeda Dower, Paul
  • Markevich, Andrei

Abstract

In the early twentieth century, a large number of households resettled from the European to the Asian part of the Russian Empire. We propose that this dramatic migration was rooted in institutional changes initiated by the 1906 Stolypin land titling reform. One might expect better property rights to decrease the propensity to migrate by improving economic conditions in the reform area. However, this titling reform increased land liquidity and actually promoted migration by easing financial constraints and decreasing opportunity costs. Treating the reform as a quasi-natural experiment, we employ difference-in-differences analysis on a panel of province-level data that describe migration and economic conditions. We find that the reform had a sizeable effect on migration. To verify the land liquidity effect, we exploit variation in the number of households participating in the reform. This direct measure of the reform mechanism estimates that land liquidity explains approximately 18% of migration during this period.

Suggested Citation

  • Chernina, Eugenia & Castañeda Dower, Paul & Markevich, Andrei, 2014. "Property rights, land liquidity, and internal migration," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 191-215.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:110:y:2014:i:c:p:191-215
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2013.03.010
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    3. Paul Castaneda Dower & Andrei Markevich, 2013. "Labor Surplus and Mass Mobilization: Russian Agriculture during the Great War," Working Papers w0196, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
    4. Dustmann, Christian & Okatenko, Anna, 2014. "Out-migration, wealth constraints, and the quality of local amenities," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 52-63.
    5. Jérémie GIGNOUX & Karen MACOURS & Liam WREN-LEWIS, 2015. "Impact of land administration programs on agricultural productivity and rural development: existing evidence, challenges and new approaches," Review of Agricultural and Environmental Studies - Revue d'Etudes en Agriculture et Environnement, INRA Department of Economics, vol. 96(3), pages 467-498.
    6. Pi Jiancai & Ge Yang & Yin Jun, 2017. "The Impacts of Rural Property Rights on Urban Unemployment, Wage Inequality, and Welfare in Developing Countries," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 17(1), pages 1-15, February.
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    8. Steven Nafziger, 2016. "Communal property rights and land redistributions in Late Tsarist Russia," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 69(3), pages 773-800, August.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Property rights; Migration; Stolypin; Land liquidity; Land titles;

    JEL classification:

    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N53 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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