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Does land tenure insecurity discourage tree planting?: evolution of customary land tenure and agroforestry management in Sumatra


  • Otsuka, Keijiro
  • Suyanto, S.
  • Tomich, Thomas P.


It is widely believed that land tenure insecurity under a customary tenure system leads to socially inefficient resource allocation. This article demonstrates that land tenure insecurity promotes tree planting, which is inefficient from the private point of view but could be relatively efficient from the viewpoint of the global environment. Regression analysis, based on primary data collected in Sumatra, indicates that tenure insecurity in fact leads to early tree planting. It is also found that customary land tenure institutions have been evolving towards greater tenure security responding to increasing scarcity of land.

Suggested Citation

  • Otsuka, Keijiro & Suyanto, S. & Tomich, Thomas P., 1997. "Does land tenure insecurity discourage tree planting?: evolution of customary land tenure and agroforestry management in Sumatra," EPTD discussion papers 31, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:eptddp:31

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Frank Place & Keijiro Otsuka, 2000. "Population Pressure, Land Tenure, and Tree Resource Management in Uganda," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 76(2), pages 233-251.
    2. Ault, David E & Rutman, Gilbert L, 1979. "The Development of Individual Rights to Property in Tribal Africa," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(1), pages 163-182, April.
    3. Anderson, Terry L & Hill, Peter J, 1990. "The Race for Property Rights," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(1), pages 177-197, April.
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    3. Place, Frank & Otsuka, Keijiro, 1997. "Population, land tenure, and natural resource management: the case of customary land area in Malawi," EPTD discussion papers 27, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Linacre, Nicholas & Falck-Zepeda, José & Komen, John & MacLaren, Donald, 2006. "Risk assessment and management of genetically modified organisms under Australia's Gene Technology Act:," EPTD discussion papers 157, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Pardey, Philip G. & Alston, Julian M. & Chan-Kang, Connie & Magalhães, Eduardo C. & Vosti, Stephen A., 2002. "Assessing and attributing the benefits from varietal improvement research: evidence from Embrapa, Brazil," EPTD discussion papers 95, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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    7. Gruère, Guillaume P., 2006. "An analysis of trade related international regulations of genetically modified food and their effects on developing countries:," EPTD discussion papers 147, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    8. Quisumbing, Agnes R. & Payongayong, Ellen & Aidoo, J. B. & Otsuka, Keijiro, 1999. "Women's land rights in the transition to individualized ownership," FCND discussion papers 58, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    9. Gebremedhin, Berhanu & Swinton, Scott M., 2003. "Investment in soil conservation in northern Ethiopia: the role of land tenure security and public programs," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 29(1), pages 69-84, July.
    10. Nguyen, Trung Thanh & Bauer, Siegfried & Uibrig, Holm, 2010. "Land privatization and afforestation incentive of rural farms in the Northern Uplands of Vietnam," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(7), pages 518-526, September.
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    12. Smale, Melinda & Zambrano, Patricia & Falck-Zepeda, José & Gruère, Guillaume, 2006. "Parables: applied economics literature about the impact of genetically engineered crop varieties in developing economies," EPTD discussion papers 158, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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    Land tenure.; Sumatra.; Tree planting.;


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