The Forgotten Property Rights: Restrictions on Land Use in Vietnam
Studies of land property rights usually focus on tenure security and transfer rights. Rights to determine how to use the land are regularly ignored. However, in transition economies such as Vietnam and China, user rights are often limited. Relying on a unique Vietnamese panel data set at both household and plot level, we show that crop choice restrictions are widespread and prevent crop diversification. Restrictions do not decrease household income, but restricted households work harder, and there are indications that they are supplied with higher quality inputs. Our findings are consistent with the view that the Vietnamese government has managed to intervene effectively in agricultural (rice) production to promote output and food security. At the same time, it is now time to carefully consider the potential benefits of a more diversified crop pattern.
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