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Forestland Reform in China: What do the Farmers Want? A Choice Experiment on Farmers’ Property Rights Preferences

Author

Listed:
  • Qin, Pin

    () (College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Peking University)

  • Carlsson, Fredrik

    () (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

  • Xu, Jintao

    () (College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Peking University)

Abstract

Various decentralization experiments are currently underway in the Chinese forestry sector. However, a key question often ignored by researchers and policy makers is what farmers really want from reform. This paper addresses this question using a survey-based choice experiment. We investigated farmers’ preferences for various property-rights attributes of a forestland contract. We found that farmers are highly concerned with what types of rights a contract provides. Reducing perceived risks of contract termination and introducing a priority right in the renewal of an old contract significantly increase farmers’ marginal willingness to pay (MWTP) for a forest contract. An extended waiting time for rights to harvest the forest reduces a farmer’s perceived value of a contract. Farmers are also concerned with the tenure length. In one region, the annual willingenss to pay for a 50-year contract is even higher than the annual willingness to pay for 25-year contract.

Suggested Citation

  • Qin, Pin & Carlsson, Fredrik & Xu, Jintao, 2009. "Forestland Reform in China: What do the Farmers Want? A Choice Experiment on Farmers’ Property Rights Preferences," Working Papers in Economics 370, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0370
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/20591
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rozelle, Scott & Li, Guo, 1998. "Village Leaders and Land-Rights Formation in China," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 433-438, May.
    2. Louviere,Jordan J. & Hensher,David A. & Swait,Joffre D., 2000. "Stated Choice Methods," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521788304.
    3. Brasselle, Anne-Sophie & Gaspart, Frederic & Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 2002. "Land tenure security and investment incentives: puzzling evidence from Burkina Faso," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 373-418, April.
    4. Hanan G. Jacoby & Guo Li & Scott Rozelle, 2002. "Hazards of Expropriation: Tenure Insecurity and Investment in Rural China," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1420-1447, December.
    5. Kelvin J. Lancaster, 1966. "A New Approach to Consumer Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 132-132.
    6. Kung James, Kaising, 1995. "Equal Entitlement versus Tenure Security under a Regime of Collective Property Rights: Peasants' Preference for Institutions in Post-reform Chinese Agriculture," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 82-111, August.
    7. Kung, James Kaising, 1994. "Egalitarianism, subsistence provision, and work incentives in China's agricultural collectives," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 175-187, February.
    8. Besley, Timothy, 1995. "Property Rights and Investment Incentives: Theory and Evidence from Ghana," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 903-937, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gelo, Dambala & Koch, Steven F., 2012. "Does one size fit all? Heterogeneity in the valuation of community forestry programs," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 85-94.
    2. Harou, Patrice A. & Zheng, Chinlong & Zhang, Daowei, 2013. "The Alternative Test in forestry," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 41-46.
    3. Glenk, Klaus & Fischer, Anke, 2010. "Insurance, prevention or just wait and see? Public preferences for water management strategies in the context of climate change," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(11), pages 2279-2291, September.
    4. Justin Visagie & Dorrit Posel, 2011. "A reconsideration of what and who is middle class in South Africa," Working Papers 249, Economic Research Southern Africa.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    China; Choice experiment; Forest; MWTP; Property rights;

    JEL classification:

    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • Q23 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Forestry
    • Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects

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