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Land reform and rural conflict. Evidence from 1930s Spain

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  • Basco, Sergi
  • Domènech, Jordi
  • Maravall, Laura

Abstract

Re-distributive policies are often used by governments to forestall conflict. This paper analyzes the evolution of rural conflict in a region of 1930s Spain in which fast transfers of land using temporal expropriations were aimed at reducing poverty and mitigate conflict. Using a subset of exogenous land transfers, we document that these transfers did not reduce conflict. If anything, they increased some types of conflicts for several months after implementation. The short run increase in conflict is consistent with two potential side effects of land reforms. First, land reforms can boost the collective action of beneficiaries. Second, poorly designed reforms can reduce the incomes of beneficiaries.

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  • Basco, Sergi & Domènech, Jordi & Maravall, Laura, 2023. "Land reform and rural conflict. Evidence from 1930s Spain," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 89(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:89:y:2023:i:c:s0014498323000244
    DOI: 10.1016/j.eeh.2023.101530
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Property rights; Land reform; Conflict; Interwar Europe; Spain; Revolution; Socialism; Civil war;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • N54 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Europe: 1913-
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • P14 - Political Economy and Comparative Economic Systems - - Capitalist Economies - - - Property Rights
    • Q10 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - General
    • Q24 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Land
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy

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