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Making negotiated land reform work : initial experience from Brazil, Colombia, and South Africa

  • Deininger, Klaus

The author describes a new type of negotiated land reform that relies on voluntary land transfers negotiated between buyers and sellers, with the government's role restricted to establishing the necessary framework for negotiation and making a land purchase grant available to eligible beneficiaries. This approach has emerged-following the end of the Cold War and broad macroeconomic adjustment--as many countries face a second generation of reforms to address deep-rooted structural problems and provide a basis for sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction. The author describes initial experiences in Brazil, Colombia, and South Africa. It is too soon to know whether negotiated land reform can rise to the challenges administrative land reform failed to solve but the data so far suggests that: 1) Negotiated land reform can succeed only if measures are taken to make the market for land sales and rentals more fluid transparent. 2) Productive projects are likely to be the key to market-assisted land reform. The potential for project productivity establishes an upper bound on the price to be paid and a basis for financial intermediaries to evaluate the project. It also requires beneficiaries to familiarize themselves with the realities they're likely to confront as independent farmers and the limits to how much land reform can help them achieve their goals. 3) The only way to effectively coordinate the entities involved in the process is through decentralized, demand-driven implementation. 4) The long-run success of land reform depends on getting the private sector involved and using the land purchase grant to"crowd in"private money.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2040.

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Date of creation: 31 Jan 1999
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2040
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  1. Galor, Oded & Zeira, Joseph, 1988. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," MPRA Paper 51644, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Sep 1989.
  2. Hoff, Karla & Lyon, Andrew B., 1995. "Non-leaky buckets: Optimal redistributive taxation and agency costs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 365-390, November.
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  7. Abhijit Banerjee & Dilip Mookherjee & Kaivan Munshi & Debraj Ray, 1997. "Inequality, control Rights and Rent Seeking - A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis of Sugar Cooperatives in Maharashtra," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 80, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  8. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Andrew F. Newman, 1990. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Discussion Papers 911, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  9. Birdsall, Nancy & Londono, Juan Luis, 1997. "Asset Inequality Matters: An Assessment of the World Bank's Approach to Poverty Reduction," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 32-37, May.
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