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

  • Qin, Ping
  • Carlsson, Fredrik
  • Xu, Jinato

    ()

    (Resources for the Future)

Various decentralization experiments are currently underway in the Chinese forestry sector. However, a key question often ignored by researchers and policymakers addresses what farmers really want from reform. This paper uses a survey-based choice experiment to investigate 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 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 willingness to pay for a 50-year contract is even higher than the annual willingness to pay for 25-year contract.

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Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-08-35-rev-efd.

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Date of creation: 15 Dec 2008
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Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-08-35-rev-efd
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  1. Jacoby, Hanan G. & Li, Guo & Rozelle, Scott, 2002. "Hazards Of Expropriation:Tenure Insecurity And Investment In Rural China," Working Papers 11960, University of California, Davis, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
  2. 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 903-37, October.
  3. 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.
  4. Kelvin J. Lancaster, 1966. "A New Approach to Consumer Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 132.
  5. Rozelle, Scott & Li, Guo, 1998. "Village Leaders and Land-Rights Formation in China," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 433-38, May.
  6. 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.
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