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India : Land Policies for Growth and Poverty Reduction

  • World Bank
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    In India, land continues to be of enormous economic, social, and symbolic relevance. The way in which land can be accessed and its ownership documented is at the core of the livelihood of the large majority of the poor, especially in rural and tribal areas and determines the extent to which increasingly scarce natural resources are managed. Land policies and administration are critical determinants of the transaction cost associated with modalities to access land for productive, residential, and business use and, through the ease of using land as collateral for credit, the development of the financial sector. Land is also a major source of government revenue and a key element for implementing government programs. This implies that land policies and institutions will have a far-reaching impact on the ability to sustain India's current high rate of growth, the extent to which such growth reaches the poor, and the level and spatial distribution of economic activity. At the same time, the policies put in place by different states and the institutions tasked to implement them often fail to live up to the importance of the issue. In fact, land administration institutions seem to impose high costs without generating commensurate benefits and are generally perceived as corrupt, mismanaged, and lacking transparency. With land reform policies having largely run their course, and growing evidence that restricting land rental may do little to help the poor, many observers have lost confidence in the ability of land institutions to contribute to the welfare of the poor or the potential for improving the performance of land administration. In this chapter the author first show that land administration in India does indeed have shortcomings but also use data from India to show that addressing the shortcomings of the land administration system is necessary. The report then highlights some of the recent success stories to argue that doing so is entirely feasible but only if, in addition to focusing on technical aspects, a number of policy issues are addressed as well.

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    This book is provided by The World Bank in its series World Bank Publications with number 15791 and published in 2007.
    ISBN: 978-0-19-568959-4
    Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbpubs:15791
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    Web page: https://openknowledge.worldbank.org
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    1. Klaus Deininger, 2003. "Land Policies for Growth and Poverty Reduction," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15125.
    2. Cardenas, Juan-Camilo, 2003. "Real wealth and experimental cooperation: experiments in the field lab," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 263-289, April.
    3. Binswanger, Hans P. & Elgin, Miranda, 1988. "What are the Prospects for Land Reform?," 1988 Conference, August 24-31, 1988, Buenos Aires, Argentina 183168, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    4. Raul V. Fabella, 2003. "The comprehensive agrarian reform program and Coase theorem," Philippine Review of Economics, University of the Philippines School of Economics and Philippine Economic Society, vol. 40(1), pages 109-200, June.
    5. Benjamin, Dwayne, 1995. "Can unobserved land quality explain the inverse productivity relationship?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 51-84, February.
    6. Eswaran, Mukesh & Kotwal, Ashok, 1985. "A Theory of Contractual Structure in Agriculture," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 352-67, June.
    7. Mearns, Robin, 1999. "Access to land in rural India - policy issues and options," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2123, The World Bank.
    8. Nugent, Jeffrey B & Robinson, James A, 2002. "Are Endowments Fate?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3206, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Mo, Pak Hung, 2000. "Income Inequality and Economic Growth," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(3), pages 293-315.
    10. Bourguignon, F. & Verdier, T., 1997. "Oligarchy, Democracy, Inequality and Growth," DELTA Working Papers 97-10, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
    11. Richard Arnott, 1995. "Time for Revisionism on Rent Control?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 99-120, Winter.
    12. Deininger, Klaus W. & Ali, Daniel Ayalew & Yamano, Takashi, 2006. "Legal knowledge and economic development: The case of land rights in Uganda," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA 21197, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    13. Conning, Jonathan H & Robinson, James A, 2002. "Land Reform and the Political Organization of Agriculture," CEPR Discussion Papers 3204, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. Galor, Oded & Zeira, Joseph, 1988. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," MPRA Paper 51644, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Sep 1989.
    15. Basu, Kaushik & Emerson, Patrick M, 2000. "The Economics of Tenancy Rent Control," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(466), pages 939-62, October.
    16. David Andolfatto, 2000. "A Theory of Inalienable Property Rights," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 110, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
    17. Chau, Nancy H, 1998. "Land Reforms in the Presence of Monitoring Costs and International Trade," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(4), pages 564-79, November.
    18. Raul V. Fabella, 2003. "Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program and the Coase Theorem," UP School of Economics Discussion Papers 200302, University of the Philippines School of Economics.
    19. Klaus Deininger & Songqing Jin, 2008. "Land Sales and Rental Markets in Transition: Evidence from Rural Vietnam," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 70(1), pages 67-101, 02.
    20. MICHAEL R. CARTER & Frederic Zimmerman, 1998. "The Dynamic Cost and Persistence of Asset Inequality in an Agrarian Economy," Wisconsin-Madison Agricultural and Applied Economics Staff Papers 416, Wisconsin-Madison Agricultural and Applied Economics Department.
    21. Carter, Michael R, 1984. "Identification of the Inverse Relationship between Farm Size and Productivity: An Empirical Analysis of Peasant Agricultural Production," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(1), pages 131-45, March.
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