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Land Reform and Violence: Evidence from Mexico

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  • Tommy E. Murphy
  • Mart√≠n A. Rossi

Abstract

We document the connection between land reform and violent crime in Mexico using the counter-reform (the transformation of ejido land into private property) carried out in 1992. Using data at a municipality level, we exploit the fact that municipalities have different exposure to the reform. We report a significant impact of the land reform on the number of murders: In those municipalities with a higher proportion of social land, and therefore more exposure to the land reform, the number of murders decreased more than in those municipalities less exposed to the land reform. Our results suggest that clearly specified and consistently enforced land rights reduce gains from violence, therefore leading to lower levels of violence as measured by the number of murders.

Suggested Citation

  • Tommy E. Murphy & Mart√≠n A. Rossi, 2015. "Land Reform and Violence: Evidence from Mexico," Working Papers 072, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
  • Handle: RePEc:don:donwpa:072
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    File URL: ftp://ftp.dondena.unibocconi.it/WorkingPapers/Dondena_WP072.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alston, Lee J. & Libecap, Gary D. & Mueller, Bernardo, 1999. "A model of rural conflict: violence and land reform policy in Brazil," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(02), pages 135-160, May.
    2. World Bank, 2001. "Mexico : Land Policy--A Decade after the Ejido Reform," World Bank Other Operational Studies 15460, The World Bank.
    3. 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.
    4. Oriana Bandiera, 2003. "Land Reform, the Market for Protection, and the Origins of the Sicilian Mafia: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 218-244, April.
    5. Deininger, Klaus & Castagnini, Raffaella, 2006. "Incidence and impact of land conflict in Uganda," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 321-345, July.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Agrarian reform; murders; property rights;

    JEL classification:

    • N16 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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