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Pro-poor land transfers in the presence of landslides: New insights on norms in land markets

Kewan Mertens and Liesbet Vranken

Land Use Policy, 2021, vol. 101, issue C

Abstract: We investigate the presence of redistributive attitudes on the supply side of land markets in a mountainous area in Western Uganda. We test whether observed preferences can be explained with an economic model on informal insurance within social networks or whether alternative explanations, such as normative drivers, are needed. To do so, we first collected detailed data on plot ownership, plot location and exposure to landslides among 401 farmers in Western Uganda. Then a discrete choice experiment (DCE) was conducted on the hypothetical sales of these plots in order to elicit preferences for specific buyer characteristics among respondents. We find that people prefer to sell their plots to family members and are therefore ready to forego some revenue from the sale. Moreover, farmers prefer to sell their land to poorer buyers, but only as long as the plots are not susceptible to landslides. When the plots are susceptible to landslides no preference is shown to sell plots to less wealthy buyers. Our results add to the literature on land markets and norms in the presence of environmental risks by illustrating that attitudes in favour of redistribution and disaster risk reduction cannot be explained by risk pooling and informal insurance considerations alone. Our study illustrates the potential of DCE to measure how redistributive preference might influence decisions during market transactions. This leads to some important recommendations for policies on land markets and disaster risk reduction.

Keywords: Disaster risk reduction; Land transaction; Uganda; Social network; Extended family; Risk prevention; Informal insurance; Social norms (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2020.105202

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