How to Approach a Market? A Theoretical Concept for Defining and Describing Land Markets
Land markets have received a considerable amount of attention in economic literature. Since the treatment of the topic covers various approaches, areas, and questions, it seems desirable to attempt an overview of the results. This paper devises a way in which to present a complete picture of the land market by drawing together the various contributions. The first step is to establish a method by which a market in its entirety can be defined. It is suggested that the application of Oliver Williamson's "Four levels of social analysis" is an appropriate approach to be used in this endeavour. In the second step, the contributions to land market research are reviewed, according to Williamson's scheme, within four broad categories: (1) embeddedness, (2) institutional environment, (3) governance and (4) resource allocation. The topics covered include cropshare tenancy, land titling and registration, communal land ownership, farmland policies, credit access and land reform. The paper closes with some proposals for further research and a discussion of the value of the approach used.
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