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Insecurity of property rights and social matching in the tenancy market

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  • Macours, Karen
  • Janvry, Alain de
  • Sadoulet, Elisabeth

Abstract

This paper shows that insecurity of property rights over agricultural land can have large efficiency and equity costs because of the way it affects matching in the tenancy market. A principal-agent framework is used to model the landlord's decision to rent when he takes into account the risk of losing the land to the tenant and when contract enforcement is decreasing in social distance with the tenant. These effects are quantified for the case of local land rental markets in the Dominican Republic. Results show that insecure property rights lead to matching in the tenancy market along socio-economic lines, severely limiting the size of the rental market and the choice of tenants for landlords, both with efficiency costs. Social segmentation reduces access to land for the rural poor, with high equity costs. Simulations suggest that improving tenure security would increase rental transactions by 21% and the area rented to the poor by 63%. Increased property rights security is hence beneficial not only to asset owners, but also to those with whom they might interact in the market.

Suggested Citation

  • Macours, Karen & Janvry, Alain de & Sadoulet, Elisabeth, 2010. "Insecurity of property rights and social matching in the tenancy market," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(7), pages 880-899, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:54:y:2010:i:7:p:880-899
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    Cited by:

    1. Wang, Hui & Riedinger, Jeffrey & Jin, Songqing, 2015. "Land documents, tenure security and land rental development: Panel evidence from China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 220-235.
    2. Macours, Karen, 2014. "Ethnic divisions, contract choice, and search costs in the Guatemalan land rental market," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 1-18.
    3. Marc F. Bellemare, 2012. "Insecure Land Rights and Share Tenancy: Evidence from Madagascar," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 88(1), pages 155-180.
    4. 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.
    5. Che, Yi, 2009. "Mismatch: land reallocations, recovery land rental and land rental market development in rural China," MPRA Paper 39794, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Cai,Yongyang & Selod,Harris & Steinbuks,Jevgenijs, 2015. "Urbanization and property rights," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7486, The World Bank.
    7. Castañeda Dower, Paul & Pfutze, Tobias, 2013. "Specificity of control: The case of Mexico's ejido reform," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 13-33.
    8. Johan Swinnen, & Kristine Van Herck & Liesbet Vranken, 2014. "The Diversity of Land Institutions in Europe," LICOS Discussion Papers 35514, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
    9. Vranken, Liesbet & Macours, Karen & Noev, Nivelin & Swinnen, Johan, 2011. "Property rights imperfections and asset allocation: Co-ownership in Bulgaria," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 159-175, June.
    10. Juan Carlos Muñoz-Mora & Santiago Tobón-Zapata & Jesse d'Anjou, 2014. "Does land titling matter? The role of land property rights in the war on illicit crops in Colombia," HiCN Working Papers 168, Households in Conflict Network.
    11. repec:eee:wdevel:v:103:y:2018:i:c:p:268-283 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Bellemare, Marc F., 2010. "Insecure Land Rights and Share Tenancy in Madagascar," MPRA Paper 23640, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Beck, Ulrik & Bjerge, Benedikte & Fafchamps, Marcel, 2015. "Social Ties and the Efficiency of Factor Transfers," CEPR Discussion Papers 10957, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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