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The Economics of Land Title Reform

  • Thomas J. Miceli

    (University of Connecticut)

  • Joseph Kieyah

This paper develops a model of land title reform which shows that a policy of voluntary adoption of a new system is not likely to be successful, even if the new system Pareto dominates the existing one. The problem is the existence of an externality that prevents individual landowners from fully internalizing the benefits of the new system. Some evidence for the theory is presented based on historic efforts to institute land registration in the United States and England. Implications are also drawn for ongoing attempts by developing countries to establish formal property rights systems for land as part of a policy to spur economic growth.

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File URL: http://web2.uconn.edu/economics/working/2003-02.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 2003-02.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2002
Date of revision: Jan 2003
Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2003-02
Contact details of provider: Postal: University of Connecticut 365 Fairfield Way, Unit 1063 Storrs, CT 06269-1063
Phone: (860) 486-4889
Fax: (860) 486-4463
Web page: http://www.econ.uconn.edu/

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  1. Dong, Xiao-Yuan, 1996. "Two-tier land tenure system and sustained economic growth in post-1978 rural China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 915-928, May.
  2. Lee J. Alston & Gary D. Libecap & Robert Schneider, 1996. "The Determinants and Impact of Property Rights: Land Titles on the Brazilian Frontier," NBER Working Papers 5405, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Christopher Woodruff, 2001. "Review of de Soto's The Mystery of Capital," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1215-1223, December.
  4. 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.
  5. Miceli, Thomas J & Pancak, Katherine A & Sirmans, C F, 1996. "An Economic Analysis of Lead Paint Laws," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 59-75, January.
  6. Baker, Matthew, et al, 2002. "Optimal Title Search," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 139-58, January.
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