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Local Government Behavior and Property Right Formation in Rural China

Author

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  • Loren Brandt
  • Scott Rozelle
  • Matthew A. Turner

Abstract

Secure land tenure is important to the development process, but China's rural reforms have so far failed to provide farm households with this security. We examine the political economy of land tenure and find that local governments sacrifice tenure security in the interests of efficiency and equity. Local rent seeking also plays an important role, and is a likely source of the under-development of land rental markets. Our results further suggest that decreases in distortionary taxes and increases in the integrity of elections will lead to more secure tenure and an increased reliance on market land exchange.

Suggested Citation

  • Loren Brandt & Scott Rozelle & Matthew A. Turner, 2004. "Local Government Behavior and Property Right Formation in Rural China," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 160(4), pages 627-627, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(200412)160:4_627:lgbapr_2.0.tx_2-x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dwayne Benjamin & Loren Brandt, 2002. "Property rights, labour markets, and efficiency in a transition economy: the case of rural China," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 35(4), pages 689-716, November.
    2. Becker, Gary S., 1985. "Public policies, pressure groups, and dead weight costs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 329-347, December.
    3. Sicular, Terry, 1988. "Plan and Market in China's Agricultural Commerce," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 283-307, April.
    4. Boycko, Maxim & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1997. "Privatizing Russia," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262522284, March.
    5. Kung James, Kaising, 1995. "Equal Entitlement versus Tenure Security under a Regime of Collective Property Rights: Peasants' Preference for Institutions in Post-reform Chinese Agriculture," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 82-111, August.
    6. Besley, Timothy, 1995. "Property Rights and Investment Incentives: Theory and Evidence from Ghana," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 903-937, October.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • R52 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Land Use and Other Regulations
    • Q13 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness

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