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Securing property rights in transition: Lessons from implementation of China's rural land contracting law

  • Deininger, Klaus
  • Jin, Songqing

Motivated by the emphasisis on secure property rights as a determinant of economic development in recent literature, we use village- and household-level information from about 800 villages throughout China to explore whether legal reform increased protection of land rights against unauthorized reallocation or expropriation with below-average compensation by the state. In addition to providing nation-wide evidence on a sensitive topic, we find positive impacts, equivalent increasing land values by 30 percent, of reform even in the short term that originated in villages where democratic election of leaders ensured a minimum level of accountability, pointing towards complementarity between good governance and legal reform. Implications for situations where individuals and groups hold overlapping rights to land are explored.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 70 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1-2 (May)
Pages: 22-38

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:70:y:2009:i:1-2:p:22-38
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