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Unequal Property Rights: A Study of Land Right Inequalities in Rwanda

Listed author(s):
  • Ann-Sofie Isaksson

Most measures of inequality focus on the distribution of income and resources. A potentially important additional source of inequality stems from unequal property rights protection. The aim of the present paper was to examine the existence and patterns of systematic within-country inequalities in effective land rights in Rwanda. While a large qualitative literature discusses the comparative land rights of different groups, there is a lack of systematic quantitative evidence on the existence of land right inequalities. The results of estimations drawing on data on the land tenure arrangements of over 17000 Rwandan households do indeed suggest within-country inequalities in land rights. In particular, despite recent reform efforts to improve women's land rights, a gender gap in land rights was observed that persisted throughout the 2005-2011 period studied, highlighting that institutional development takes time and that changes in de jure legislation do not automatically translate into changes in effective rights. Moreover, conflict-displaced households and households resettled to newly constructed village settlements all report weaker land rights than their respective comparison groups.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1080/13600818.2014.955466
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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Oxford Development Studies.

Volume (Year): 43 (2015)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 60-83

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Handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:43:y:2015:i:1:p:60-83
DOI: 10.1080/13600818.2014.955466
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