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Land management in rural China and its gender implications


  • Denise Hare
  • Li Yang
  • Daniel Englander


Women are an important mainstay of agricultural production in China, though their access to land is characterized by even greater ambiguity than that of their male counterparts. As part of its path toward liberalization, China undertook agricultural land management policy reforms that were aimed at increasing the security of land tenure rights, but these reforms have paradoxically exacerbated the uncertainty surrounding women's claims to land. Utilizing sample survey data collected from 412 rural households in Shaanxi and Hunan provinces in 2002, this paper documents and analyzes gender differences in land allocations. The findings of this study shed light on the degree to which community characteristics coupled with current local practices (such as frequency of reallocation) influence gender disparities. Results suggest that a growing number of women experience loss of contract land coincident with marrying, and this trend may be expected to increase given the current direction of land policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Denise Hare & Li Yang & Daniel Englander, 2007. "Land management in rural China and its gender implications," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(3-4), pages 35-61.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:13:y:2007:i:3-4:p:35-61 DOI: 10.1080/13545700701445298

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:wdevel:v:95:y:2017:i:c:p:43-54 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Menon, Nidhiya & van der Meulen Rodgers, Yana & Nguyen, Huong, 2014. "Women’s Land Rights and Children’s Human Capital in Vietnam," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 18-31.
    3. Rosanna Hertz, 2016. "Turning Points in the Lives of Chinese and Indian Women Leaders Working toward Social Justice," Social Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(4), pages 1-15, October.

    More about this item


    China; gender; land; property rights; JEL codes: J16; P2; Q15;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • P2 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment


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