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Thanks but No Thanks: A New Policy to Reduce Land Conflict

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  • Martin Dufwenberg
  • Gunnar Köhlin
  • Peter Martinsson
  • Haileselassie Medhin

Abstract

Land conflicts in developing countries are costly. An important policy goal is to create respect for borders. This often involves mandatory, expensive interventions. We propose a new policy design, which in theory promotes neighborly relations at low cost. A salient feature is the option to by-pass regulation through consensus. The key idea combines the insight that social preferences transform social dilemmas into coordination problems with the logic of forward induction. As a first, low-cost pass at empirical evaluation, we conduct an experiment among farmers in the Ethiopian highlands, a region exhibiting features typical of countries where borders are often disputed. Our results suggest that a low-cost land delimitation based on neighborly recognition of borders could deliver a desired low-conflict situation if accompanied by an optional higher cost demarcation process.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Dufwenberg & Gunnar Köhlin & Peter Martinsson & Haileselassie Medhin, 2014. "Thanks but No Thanks: A New Policy to Reduce Land Conflict," CESifo Working Paper Series 4864, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4864
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    1. repec:eee:jeeman:v:83:y:2017:i:c:p:68-89 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Felix Albrecht & Björn Frank & Simone Gobien & Maren Hartmann & Özcan Ihtiyar & Elina Khachatryan & Nataliya Kusa & Ahmed Rashad & Mohamed Ismail Sabry & Sondos Shaheen & Thomas Stöber, 2016. "The Powerful, the Powerless, and the Grabbing: Non-Nash Land Grabbing in the Lab," Homo Oeconomicus: Journal of Behavioral and Institutional Economics, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 219-242, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    conflict; land-conflict game; social preferences; forward induction; Ethiopia; experiment; land reform;

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • 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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