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American Economic Review: Vol. 92 No. 5 (December 2002)

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Hazards of Expropriation: Tenure Insecurity and Investment in Rural China

Article Citation

Jacoby, Hanan G., Guo Li, and Scott Rozelle. 2002. "Hazards of Expropriation: Tenure Insecurity and Investment in Rural China ." American Economic Review, 92(5): 1420-1447.

DOI: 10.1257/000282802762024575

Abstract

We use household data from northeast China to examine the link between investment and land tenure insecurity induced by China's system of village-level land reallocation. We quantify expropriation risk using a hazard analysis of individual plot tenures and incorporate the predicted "hazards of expropriation" into an empirical analysis of plot-level investment. Our focus is on organic fertilizer use, which has long-lasting benefits for soil quality. Although we find that higher expropriation risk significantly reduces application of organic fertilizer, a welfare analysis shows that guaranteeing land tenure in this part of China would yield only minimal efficiency gains.

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Authors

Jacoby, Hanan G.
Li, Guo
Rozelle, Scott


American Economic Review


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