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Moving off the farm: Land institutions to facilitate structural transformation and agricultural productivity growth in China

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  • Deininger, Klaus
  • Jin, Songqing
  • Xia, Fang

Abstract

Agriculture has made major contributions to China's economic growth and poverty reduction, but the literature has rarely focused on the institutional factors that might underpin such structural transformation and productivity. This paper aims to fill that gap. Drawing on an 8-year panel of 1,200 households in six key provinces, it explores the impact of government land reallocations and formal land-use certificates on agricultural productivity growth, as well as the likelihood of households to exit from agriculture or send family members to the non-farm sector. It finds that land tenure insecurity, measured by the history of past land reallocations, discourages households from quitting agriculture. The recognitionof land rights through formal certificates encourages the temporary migration of rural labor. Both factors have a large impact on productivity (at about 30 percent each), mainly by encouraging market-based land transfers. A sustained increase in non-agricultural opportunities will likely reinforce the importance of secure land tenure, which is a precondition for successful structural transformation and continued economic attractiveness of rural areas.

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  • Deininger, Klaus & Jin, Songqing & Xia, Fang, 2012. "Moving off the farm: Land institutions to facilitate structural transformation and agricultural productivity growth in China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5949, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5949
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    Cited by:

    1. Steven Nafziger, 2016. "Communal property rights and land redistributions in Late Tsarist Russia," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 69(3), pages 773-800, August.
    2. Diarra, Lacina & Dessy, Sylvain, 2018. "Land Tenure Security and Non-Agricultural Sector Employment: Household-level Evidence from Uganda," 2018 Annual Meeting, August 5-7, Washington, D.C. 274240, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    3. Deininger, Klaus & Jin, Songqing & Liu, Shouying & Xia, Fang, 2015. "Household-level impacts of property rights reform in peri-urban China: Evidence from the Chengdu National Experiment," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 205753, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    4. Deininger,Klaus W. & Jin,Songqing & Liu,Shouying & Xia,Fang, 2015. "Impact of property rights reform to support China?s rural-urban integration : household-level evidence from the Chengdu national experiment," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7388, The World Bank.
    5. Ma, Meilin, 2017. "Earthbound Labor and Incomplete Exit from Farming in China: Multiple Distortions and Nonseparable Decisions," 2017 Annual Meeting, July 30-August 1, Chicago, Illinois 258414, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    6. Emran, M. Shahe & Shilpi, Forhad, 2015. "Do Land Market Restrictions Hinder Structural Change in a Rural Economy? Evidence from Sri Lanka," MPRA Paper 66017, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. World Bank, 2012. "Arab Republic of Egypt - Reshaping Egypt's Economic Geography : Domestic Integration as a Development Platform, Volume 1," World Bank Other Operational Studies 11903, The World Bank.
    8. Deininger,Klaus W. & Xia,Fang & Savastano,Sara, 2015. "Smallholders? land ownership and access in Sub-Saharan Africa: a new landscape ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7285, The World Bank.
    9. Deininger, Klaus & Savastano, Sara & Xia, Fang, 2017. "Smallholders’ land access in Sub-Saharan Africa: A new landscape?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 78-92.
    10. World Bank, 2012. "Reshaping Egypt's Economic Geography : Domestic Integration as a Development Platform," World Bank Other Operational Studies 11869, The World Bank.
    11. Yahui Wang & Liangjie Xin & Xiubin Li & Jianzhong Yan, 2016. "Impact of Land Use Rights Transfer on Household Labor Productivity: A Study Applying Propensity Score Matching in Chongqing, China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(1), pages 1-18, December.
    12. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:10:p:1885-:d:115594 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Chen, Huang, 2017. "Agricultural Risk, Insurance, and the Land-productivity Inverse Relationship," 2017 Annual Meeting, July 30-August 1, Chicago, Illinois 258212, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
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    15. Yang, Ziyan, 2018. "Transaction Cost in China's Rural Land Rental Market: Bargaining over the Degree of Contractual Formality," 2018 Annual Meeting, August 5-7, Washington, D.C. 274136, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
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    Keywords

    Labor Policies; Rural Development Knowledge&Information Systems; Economic Theory&Research; Economic Growth; Rural Poverty Reduction;

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