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Effects of Land Property Rights: Cases from Three Continents

Paper Session

Friday, Jan. 7, 2022 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM (EST)

Hosted By: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association
  • Chair: Robert Zabawa, Tuskegee University

Heirs’ Property in an Urban Context

Sarah Stein
,
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
Ann Carpenter
,
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Abstract

Heirs’ property owners are susceptible to family land loss due to the precarity of their shared ownership structure. They are also often limited in their access to the economic value of their land since they do not have clear, marketable title. Although often discussed as a rural issue, heirs’ property manifests in urban areas, as well, where these properties have spillover effects, particularly in historically disinvested communities that experience deeper susceptibility to shocks and stresses.

Using the metropolitan Jacksonville, Florida area as a case study, we first estimate the extent of residential heirs’ property in this area. We do this using real estate transaction and property records data and linked consumer records. Based on these figures, we address the cumulative impacts these properties have on individual families, neighborhoods, and the broader urban region. We consider the intersection of heirs’ property with system shocks, such as recent hurricanes and the global COVID-19 pandemic. We also make efforts to account for the economic impact of these properties, on an individual family level as well as a community level. Finally, we use our analysis to inform a discussion of potential policy interventions situated at the local, state, and national level.

Investment Impacts of Gendered Land Rights in Customary Tenure Systems: Substantive and Methodological Insights from Malawi

Klaus Deininger
,
World Bank
Fang Xia
,
University of International Business and Economics
Talip Kilic
,
World Bank
Heather Moylan
,
World Bank

Abstract

Compared with the vast literature on the investment and productivity effects of land rights
formalization, little attention has been paid to the impact of variation in individuals’ tenure security under customary tenure regimes. This is a serious gap not only because most of Africa’s rural land is held under informal arrangements, but also because gradual erosion of long-term rights by women and migrants is often an indication of traditional systems coming under stress. Using a unique survey experiment in Malawi, the analysis shows that (i) having long-term land rights of bequest and sale has a significant impact on investment and cash crop adoption; (ii) women’s land rights of bequest and sale, joint with local institutional arrangements, can amplify the magnitude of such effects; and (iii) the effects found here can be obscured by measurement error associated with traditional approaches to survey data collection on land ownership and rights.

Influence of the Land Titling Policy on Land Abandonment in China

Kai Liu
,
South China Agricultural University
Mingzhong Luo
,
University of Rhode Island
Krishna Paudel
,
USDA Economic Research Service
Wenjue Zhu
,
South China Agricultural University

Abstract

Land Titling, a policy that aims to increase market transaction of farmland by providing land
property rights to landowners in China, may affect the peasant households’ farmland cultivation
decisions. We identify homogenous farm households by using the model-based clustering analysis
technique because of this clustering method’s ability to model the observations based on a pre-specified model. We estimate the influences of the Land Titling Policy (LTP) on households’ farmland abandonment decisions within each cluster by using a fractional semiparametric model. We use nationwide face-to-face interview data collected in 2015-2016 from randomly selected Chinese peasant households. Results show that the Land Titling Policy has a positive influence on land abandonment, especially for households under unstable land property rights. Specifically, we found the LTP significantly reduced land abandonment by 2.9 to 3.1% for the clusters with secured land property rights. By contrast, the Land Titling Policy had a stronger negative effect on land abandonment by 8.2% for the cluster with unsecured land property rights. We conclude that the LTP reduces the land abandonment problem by enhancing land property rights, especially in an unsecured property rights scenario.
Discussant(s)
Michael Carter
,
University of California-Davis
JEL Classifications
  • Y9 - Other