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Foreign-Owned Land

  • Jonathan Eaton

Land and capital serve not only as factors of production but as assets which households use as stores of value. Standard trade models typically recognize only the first role. In its role as an asset land reduces the amount of national savings available for capital investment. Foreign investment affects the national economy through both asset markets and factor markets. When the share of labor in the land-using sectoris large relative to the labor share in the capital-using sector, factor-market effects are likely to dominate. In this case a drop in the price of the agricultural good or a rise in the land-labor ratio attracts foreign investment, while a drop in the world interest rate raises the welfare of a capital-importing country. If the share of labor in the land-using sector is smaller, however, asset-market effects dominate. These results are then likely to be reversed. Even when trade in claims on land equalizes the domestic and world interest rates, a tax on land raises steady-state welfare.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 1512.

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Date of creation: Dec 1984
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as From The American Economic Review, Vol. 78, No. 1, pp. 76-88, (March 1988).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1512
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  1. Willem H. Buiter, 1979. "Time Preference and International Lending and Borrowing in an Overlapping-Generations Model," NBER Working Papers 0352, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Bhagwati, Jagdish N. & Brecher, Richard A., 1980. "National welfare in an open economy in the presence of foreign-owned factors of production," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 103-115, February.
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  8. Calvo, Guillermo A & Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Rodriguez, Carlos Alfredo, 1979. "The Incidence of a Tax on Pure Rent: A New (?) Reason for an Old Answer," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(4), pages 869-74, August.
  9. Christophe Chamley & Wright, Brian D. Wright, 1983. "Fiscal Incidence in a Dynamic Life-Cycle Model with Land," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 666, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  10. Srinivasan, T. N., 1983. "International factor movements, commodity trade and commercial policy in a specific factor model," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3-4), pages 289-312, May.
  11. Bhagwati, Jagdish N. & Tironi, Ernesto, 1980. "Tariff change, foreign capital and immiserization : A theoretical analysis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 71-83, February.
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