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Property Rights for Poverty Reduction?

  • Ruth Meinzen-Dick

This paper reviews the links between property rights and poverty reduction. Poor people not only lack current income, but also assets with which to generate incomes. Billions of poor people have access to land which may not be legally recognized. While legislation may provide more secure land tenure for the poor and thus reduce poverty, this outcome is not guaranteed. Policies that do not recognize the complexity of property rights have backfired, reducing poor people’s security of tenure. Finally, understanding legal pluralism can lead to more effective policies and interventions to strengthen poor people’s control over assets.

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Paper provided by United Nations, Department of Economics and Social Affairs in its series Working Papers with number 91.

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Length: 9 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:une:wpaper:91
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  1. Carmen Diana Deere & Cheryl Doss, 2006. "The Gender Asset Gap: What Do We Know And Why Does It Matter?," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(1-2), pages 1-50.
  2. Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela, ed. & Di Gregorio, Monica, ed., 2004. "Collective action and property rights for sustainable development:," 2020 vision focus 11, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  3. Cheryl Doss, 2006. "The Effects of Intrahousehold Property Ownership on Expenditure Patterns in Ghana," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 15(1), pages 149-180, March.
  4. Quisumbing, Agnes R. & Otsuka, Keijiro, 2001. "Land, trees, and women: evolution of land tenure institutions in Western Ghana and Sumatra," Research reports 121, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  5. Deininger, Klaus & Ali, Daniel Ayalew & Holden, Stein & Zevenbergen, Jaap, 2007. "Rural land certification in Ethiopia : process, initial impact, and implications for other African countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4218, The World Bank.
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