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

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  • Deininger, Klaus
  • Jin, Songqing

Abstract

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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  • Deininger, Klaus & Jin, Songqing, 2009. "Securing property rights in transition: Lessons from implementation of China's rural land contracting law," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(1-2), pages 22-38, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:70:y:2009:i:1-2:p:22-38
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    Keywords

    Property rights Tenure security Legal change Governance China;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation

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