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Are land reforms granting complete property rights politically risky? Electoral outcomes of Mexico's certification program

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  • de Janvry, Alain
  • Gonzalez-Navarro, Marco
  • Sadoulet, Elisabeth

Abstract

What is the impact on voting behavior of strengthening property rights over agricultural land? To answer this question, we use the 14-year nationwide rollout of Mexico's land certification program (Procede) and match affected communities (ejidos) before and after the change in property rights with voting outcomes in corresponding electoral sections across six federal election cycles. We find that, in accordance with the investor class theory, granting complete property rights induced a conservative shift toward the pro-market party equal to 6.8percent of its average share of votes over the period. This shift was strongest where vested interests created larger expected benefits from market-oriented policies as opposed to public-transfer policies. We also find that beneficiaries failed to reciprocate through votes for the benefactor party. We conclude that, in the Mexican experience, engaging in a land reform that strengthened individual property rights over agricultural land was politically advantageous for the right-wing party.

Suggested Citation

  • de Janvry, Alain & Gonzalez-Navarro, Marco & Sadoulet, Elisabeth, 2014. "Are land reforms granting complete property rights politically risky? Electoral outcomes of Mexico's certification program," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 216-225.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:110:y:2014:i:c:p:216-225
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2013.04.003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Fernando M. Aragon, 2014. "Do better property rights improve local income?: Evidence from First Nations' treaties," Discussion Papers dp14-02, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
    2. 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.
    3. Aragón, Fernando M., 2015. "Do better property rights improve local income?: Evidence from First Nations' treaties," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 43-56.
    4. Murphy, Tommy E. & Rossi, Martín A., 2016. "Land reform and violence: Evidence from Mexico," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 131(PA), pages 106-113.
    5. Julien Labonne, 2012. "The local electoral impacts of conditional cash transfers: Evidence from a field experiment," CSAE Working Paper Series 2012-09, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    6. Ramírez-Álvarez, Aurora Alejandra, 2019. "Land titling and its effect on the allocation of public goods: Evidence from Mexico," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 1-1.
    7. repec:ags:frraes:276808 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Yahui Wang, 2019. "What Affects Participation in the Farmland Rental Market in Rural China? Evidence from CHARLS," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(24), pages 1-15, December.
    9. 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.
    10. Jérémie Gignoux & Karen Macours & Liam Wren-Lewis, 2014. "Impact of land administration programs on agricultural productivity and rural development: existing evidence, challenges and new approaches," Working Papers halshs-00992873, HAL.
    11. Sellars, Emily A. & Alix-Garcia, Jennifer, 2018. "Labor scarcity, land tenure, and historical legacy: Evidence from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 504-516.
    12. Albertus, Michael & Diaz-Cayeros, Alberto & Magaloni, Beatriz & Weingast, Barry R., 2016. "Authoritarian Survival and Poverty Traps: Land Reform in Mexico," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 154-170.
    13. Castañeda Dower, Paul & Pfutze, Tobias, 2015. "Vote suppression and insecure property rights," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 1-19.
    14. Pranab Bardhan & Sandip Mitra & Dilip Mookherjee & Anusha Nath, 2018. "Resource Transfers to Local Governments: Political Manipulation and Household Responses in West Bengal," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-319, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    15. Bhattacharya, Prasad S. & Mitra, Devashish & Ulubaşoğlu, Mehmet A., 2019. "The political economy of land reform enactments: New cross-national evidence (1900–2010)," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 139(C), pages 50-68.
    16. Deininger, Klaus & Hilhorst, Thea & Songwe, Vera, 2014. "Identifying and addressing land governance constraints to support intensification and land market operation: Evidence from 10 African countries," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 76-87.
    17. Julien Labonne, 2012. "The local electoral impacts of conditional cash transfers Evidence from a field experiment," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2012-09, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    18. Pranab Bardhan, 2016. "State and Development: The Need for a Reappraisal of the Current Literature," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(3), pages 862-892, September.
    19. Wallace, Frederick & Chapa Cantú, Joana, 2015. "The Ejido System and Economic Growth of the Mexican States," MPRA Paper 62261, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. Pranab Bardhan & Dilip Mookherjee, 2018. "A Theory of Clientelistic Politics versus Programmatic Politics," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-317, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    21. Perry Ferrell, 2019. "Titles for me but not for thee: transitional gains trap of property rights extension in Colombia," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 178(1), pages 95-114, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Land reform; Property rights; Voting; Mexico;

    JEL classification:

    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • K11 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Property Law
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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