Property Rights and Rural Prosperity: Lessons from the Colombian Frontier

Abstract:

This project uses discontinuities in the roll out of land titling policies to study the role of property rights in promoting rural development. I link information on more than two hundred thousand farmers living at the Colombian rural frontier in 1980s-1990s with contemporary administrative data. I estimate the causal impacts of receiving formal property rights and explore heterogeneous effects and theoretical mechanisms, including: risk of expropriation, gains from trade and support for financial markets. Finally, I also track the children of a subsample of farmers to characterize the geography of intergenerational mobility among formal and informal owners of land.

Last updated on 11/01/2018