IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Investment and credit effects of land titling and registration:


  • de Laiglesia, Juan R.


This paper analyzes the importance of legal property documents in providing tenure security, enhancing agricultural investment incentives and easing access to credit. While theory predicts that better property rights on land can increase investment through increased security, enhanced trade opportunities and increased collateral value of land, the presence and size of these effects depend crucially on whether those rights are properly enforced. In Nicaragua, a troubled history of land expropriation and invasion has undermined the credibility of the legal property regime. The variation in legal ownership status due to a land titling and regularization programme is studied to identify the effects of legal ownership documents. Possession of a registered document is found to increase the probability of carrying out land-attached investments by 35%. No difference is found in the effect of public deeds and agrarian reform titles provided they are both registered and we find no strong evidence of a credit supply link, thus suggesting security of tenure as the channel through which formal land ownership has an effect on investment.

Suggested Citation

  • de Laiglesia, Juan R., 2005. "Investment and credit effects of land titling and registration:," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Kiel 2005 10, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:gdec05:3483

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Christopher F Baum & Mark E. Schaffer & Steven Stillman, 2003. "Instrumental variables and GMM: Estimation and testing," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 3(1), pages 1-31, March.
    2. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-1054, July.
    3. Kochar, Anjini, 1997. "An empirical investigation of rationing constraints in rural credit markets in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 339-371, August.
    4. Binswanger, Hans P. & Deininger, Klaus & Feder, Gershon, 1995. "Power, distortions, revolt and reform in agricultural land relations," Handbook of Development Economics,in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 42, pages 2659-2772 Elsevier.
    5. Angrist, Joshua D., 1991. "Grouped-data estimation and testing in simple labor-supply models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2-3), pages 243-266, February.
    6. Michael R. Carter & Pedro Olinto, 2003. "Getting Institutions “Right” for Whom? Credit Constraints and the Impact of Property Rights on the Quantity and Composition of Investment," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(1), pages 173-186.
    7. Bandiera, Oriana, 2002. "Land distribution, incentives and the choice of production techniques in Nicaragua," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3545, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    8. Deininger, Klaus & Chamorro, Juan Sebastian, 2004. "Investment and equity effects of land regularisation: the case of Nicaragua," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 30(2), pages 101-116, March.
    9. Jonakin, Jon, 1996. "The impact of structural adjustment and property rights conflicts on Nicaraguan Agrarian reform beneficiaries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(7), pages 1179-1191, July.
    10. Deininger, Klaus & Feder, Gershon, 2001. "Land institutions and land markets," Handbook of Agricultural Economics,in: B. L. Gardner & G. C. Rausser (ed.), Handbook of Agricultural Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 288-331 Elsevier.
    11. Alston, Lee J & Libecap, Gary D & Schneider, Robert, 1996. "The Determinants and Impact of Property Rights: Land Titles on the Brazilian Frontier," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 25-61, April.
    12. Trackman, B. & Fisher, W. & Salas, L., 1999. "The Reform of Property Registration Systems in Costa Rica. A Status Report," Papers 733, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
    13. Jean-Philippe Platteau, 2000. "Allocating and Enforcing Property Rights in Land: Informal versus Formal Mechanisms in Subsaharan Africa," Nordic Journal of Political Economy, Nordic Journal of Political Economy, vol. 26, pages 55-81.
    14. Besley, Timothy, 1995. "Property Rights and Investment Incentives: Theory and Evidence from Ghana," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 903-937, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. James Fenske, 2010. "L’Étranger: Status, Property Rights, and Investment Incentives in Côte d’Ivoire," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 86(4), pages 621-644.
    2. Misha Saleem, 2011. "The Effect of Ownership Rights on Urban Households' Access to Credit in Lahore," Lahore Journal of Economics, Department of Economics, The Lahore School of Economics, vol. 16(2), pages 111-139, Jul-Dec.
    3. Lawrence King & Osvaldo Gómez Martínez, 2010. "Property Rights Reform and Development: A Critique of the Cross-National Regression Literature," Working Papers wp216, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

    More about this item


    Property rights; investment; land reform; Nicaragua; land ownership;

    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
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • K11 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Property Law

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:gdec05:3483. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.