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The Political Economy of Rural Property Rights and the Persistence of the Dual Economy

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  • Leopoldo Fergusson

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Abstract

If property rights in land are so beneficial, why are they not adopted more widely? I propose a theory based on the idea that limited property rights over peasants' plots may be supported by elite landowners (who depend on peasants for labour) to achieve two goals. First, like other distortions such as taxation, limited property rights reduce peasants' income from their own plots, generating a cheap labour force. Second, and unlike taxation, they force peasants to remain in the rural sector to protect their property, even if job opportunities appear in the urban sector. The theory identifies conditions under which weak property rights institutions emerge, providing a specific mechanism for the endogenous persistence of inefficient rural institutions as development unfolds. It also predicts a non-monotonic relationship between the quality of rural property rights and land in the hands of peasants.

Suggested Citation

  • Leopoldo Fergusson, 2012. "The Political Economy of Rural Property Rights and the Persistence of the Dual Economy," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 009797, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000089:009797
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Why are property rights not adopted more widely?
      by UDADISI in UDADISI on 2012-07-29 01:24:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Pedro Naso & Erwin Bulte & Tim Swanson, 2017. "Can there be benefits from competing legal regimes? The impact of legal pluralism in post-conflict Sierra Leone," CIES Research Paper series 56-2017, Centre for International Environmental Studies, The Graduate Institute.
    2. Pi Jiancai & Zhou Yu, 2015. "Rural Property Rights, Migration, and Welfare in Developing Countries," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 15(3), pages 997-1029, July.
    3. Pi Jiancai & Ge Yang & Yin Jun, 2017. "The Impacts of Rural Property Rights on Urban Unemployment, Wage Inequality, and Welfare in Developing Countries," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 17(1), pages 1-15, February.
    4. Juan Carlos Muñoz-Mora & Santiago Tobón-Zapata & Jesse d'Anjou, 2014. "Does land titling matter? The role of land property rights in the war on illicit crops in Colombia," HiCN Working Papers 168, Households in Conflict Network.
    5. Rodriguez Acosta, Mauricio, 2016. "Essays in political economy and resource economic : A macroeconomic approach," Other publications TiSEM 1e39ef1b-43a2-4f95-892c-6, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    6. de Janvry, Alain & Gonzalez-Navarro, Marco & Sadoulet, Elisabeth, 2014. "Are land reforms granting complete property rights politically risky? Electoral outcomes of Mexico's certification program," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 216-225.
    7. repec:eee:wdevel:v:103:y:2018:i:c:p:268-283 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Mizuno, Nobuhiro, 2016. "Political structure as a legacy of indirect colonial rule: Bargaining between national governments and rural elites in Africa," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 1023-1039.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Political economy; institutions; economic development; taxation; property rights; land; dualism;

    JEL classification:

    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • N10 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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