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Land Reform and the Political Organization of Agriculture

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Abstract

The modern theory of agrarian organization has studied how the economic environment determines organizational form under the assumption of stable property rights to land. The political economy literature has modelled the endogenous determination of property rights. In this paper we propose a model in which the economic organization of agriculture and the political equilibrium determining the distribution of property rights are jointly determined. In particular, because the form of organization may affect the probability and distribution of benefits from agrarian reform, it may be determined in anticipation of this impact. The model offers a reason for why tenancy, despite its economic advantages has been so little used in countries where agrarian reform is a salient political issue. We argue that this in particular helps to understand the dearth of tenancy and the relative failure of land reform in Latin America.

Suggested Citation

  • Jonathan H. Conning & James A. Robinson, 2001. "Land Reform and the Political Organization of Agriculture," Department of Economics Working Papers 2001-10, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  • Handle: RePEc:wil:wileco:2001-10
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    Cited by:

    1. World Bank, 2007. "India - Land Policies for Growth and Poverty Reduction," World Bank Other Operational Studies 7818, The World Bank.
    2. Deininger, Klaus & Jin, Songqing, 2006. "Tenure security and land-related investment: Evidence from Ethiopia," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(5), pages 1245-1277, July.
    3. Assuncao, Juliano, 2006. "Land Reform and Landholdings in Brazil," WIDER Working Paper Series 137, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    4. Jean-Paul Faguet & Fabio Sánchez & Marta-Juanita Villaveces, 2015. "Land Reform, Latifundia and Social Development at Local Level in Colombia, 1961-2010," DOCUMENTOS DE TRABAJO 012503, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO.
    5. World Bank, 2007. "India : Land Policies for Growth and Poverty Reduction," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15791.
    6. Jonathan Conning, 2002. "Latifundia Economics," Economics Working Paper Archive at Hunter College 02/1, Hunter College Department of Economics.
    7. Graziella Bertocchi, 2006. "The Law of Primogeniture and the Transition from Landed Aristocracy to Industrial Democracy," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 43-70, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Agrarian Organization; Political Economy; Land Reform;

    JEL classification:

    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • N50 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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