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Land Tenure and Property Rights: Theory and Implications for Development Policy

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  • Feder, Gershon
  • Feeny, David

Abstract

This article explores the nature of property rights systems, their evolution, and their effect on resource allocation. It is argued that certain institutional arrangements of land rights have evolved in order to reduce uncertainty and increase efficiency in credit as well as in land markets. Of particular relevance to developing countries, the article emphasizes the contribution of public sector infrastructure to effective land rights systems. An appendix to the article presents a formal model analyzing the effects of security of land rights on land prices, the intensity of cultivation, and the use of credit. Empirical evidence from Thailand supports several of the propositions derived from the model. Copyright 1991 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Feder, Gershon & Feeny, David, 1991. "Land Tenure and Property Rights: Theory and Implications for Development Policy," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 5(1), pages 135-153, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:wbecrv:v:5:y:1991:i:1:p:135-53
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    1. Thorsten Beck & Asli Demirgüç-Kunt & Maria Soledad Martinez Peria, 2008. "Banking Services for Everyone? Barriers to Bank Access and Use around the World," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 22(3), pages 397-430, November.
    2. Patrick Honohan, 2004. "Financial development, growth, and poverty: how close are the links?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3203, The World Bank.
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    6. Georg R. G. Clarke & Lixin Colin Xu & Heng-fu Zou, 2006. "Finance and Income Inequality: What Do the Data Tell Us?," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 578-596, January.
    7. Levine, Ross & Zervos, Sara, 1998. "Stock Markets, Banks, and Economic Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 537-558, June.
    8. Levine, Ross, 2005. "Finance and Growth: Theory and Evidence," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 865-934 Elsevier.
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    10. Thorsten Beck & Asli Demirgüç-Kunt, 2008. "Access to Finance: An Unfinished Agenda," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 22(3), pages 383-396, November.
    11. Beck, Thorsten & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Martinez Peria, Maria Soledad, 2007. "Reaching out: Access to and use of banking services across countries," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 234-266, July.
    12. Honohan, Patrick, 2008. "Cross-country variation in household access to financial services," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(11), pages 2493-2500, November.
    13. Honohan, Patrick, 2005. "Measuring microfinance access : building on existing cross-country data," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3606, The World Bank.
    14. Thorsten Beck & Asli Demirgüç-Kunt & Ross Levine, 2000. "A New Database on the Structure and Development of the Financial Sector," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 14(3), pages 597-605, September.
    15. Suresh de Mel & David McKenzie & Christopher Woodruff, 2009. "Returns to Capital in Microenterprises: Evidence from a Field Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(1), pages 423-423.
    16. Beck, Thorsten & Levine, Ross & Loayza, Norman, 2000. "Finance and the sources of growth," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 261-300.
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