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Market versus administrative reallocation of agricultural land in a period of rapid industrialization

Author

Listed:
  • Carter, Michael R.
  • Yang Yao

Abstract

Under communal farm production, there was little incentive to work hard: the communal system guaranteed a livelihood, and there were few private gains from additional efforts. The reform that introduced the household responsibility system in China in the early 1980s sharpened individual work incentives by assigning specific plots and the rights to residual income to individual households. However, the household responsibility system left unresolved questions about the reallocation of land over time - questions that have become increasingly important (for both efficiency and equity) with the rapid growth of the non-farm economy. The authors use household and village data to show that the initially egalitarian distribution of land is becoming more dispersed over time. In what has become a hybrid property rights system, in some areas local village leaders (the cadre) were empowered to periodically redistribute land between households on the basis of economic and demographic changes among households. In other villages, households were granted much greater immunity against redistribution of any sort. Similarly, villages differed in the degree to which individual households could trade land among themselves. Some villages did not regulate the practice, and other required village approval or prohibited land rental relationships. The authors use simulated maximum likelihood methods to estimate hybrid panel models of the determinants of both market-based and administrative reallocation of land. They also use them to estimate the insecurity-induced investment costs of market-based reallocation of land. They find that administrative reallocation responds to the increasing inequality but non-market reallocations come at a significant cost in forgone investment.

Suggested Citation

  • Carter, Michael R. & Yang Yao, 1999. "Market versus administrative reallocation of agricultural land in a period of rapid industrialization," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2203, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2203
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Liu, Shouying & Carter, Michael R. & Yao, Yang, 1998. "Dimensions and diversity of property rights in rural China: Dilemmas on the road to further reform," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(10), pages 1789-1806, October.
    2. Putterman, Louis, 1992. "Dualism and Reform in China," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40(3), pages 467-493, April.
    3. McMillan, John & Whalley, John & Zhu, Lijing, 1989. "The Impact of China's Economic Reforms on Agricultural Productivity Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 781-807, August.
    4. Gourieroux, Christian & Monfort, Alain, 1993. "Simulation-based inference : A survey with special reference to panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1-2), pages 5-33, September.
    5. Matthew A. Turner & Loren Brandt & Scott Rozelle, 1999. "Property Rights Formation and the Organization of Exchange and Production in Rural China," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 250, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    6. Putterman, Louis, 1991. "Does Poor Supervisability Undermine Teamwork? Evidence from an Unexpected," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 996-1001, September.
    7. Kung, James Kaising, 1994. "Egalitarianism, subsistence provision, and work incentives in China's agricultural collectives," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 175-187, February.
    8. Gaynor, Martin & Putterman, Louis, 1993. "Productivity consequences of alternative land division methods in China's decollectivization An econometric analysis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 357-386, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. World Bank, 2001. "Mexico : Land Policy--A Decade after the Ejido Reform," World Bank Other Operational Studies 15460, The World Bank.
    2. Deininger, Klaus & Songqing Jin, 2002. "Land rental markets as an alternative to government reallocation? equity and efficiency considerations in the Chinese land tenure system," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2930, The World Bank.

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