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Does Property Rights Integrity Improve Tenure Security? Evidence from China’s Forest Reform

Yuepeng Zhou (), Xianlei Ma (), Dengyan Ji (), Nico Heerink (), Xiaoping Shi () and Hongbin Liu ()
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Yuepeng Zhou: China Centre for Land Policy Research & College of Public Administration, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China
Xianlei Ma: China Centre for Land Policy Research & College of Public Administration, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China
Dengyan Ji: School of Geography and Environmental Engineering, Gannan Normal University, Ganzhou 341000, China
Hongbin Liu: College of Land and Environment, Shenyang Agricultural University, Shenyang 110866, China

Sustainability, 2018, vol. 10, issue 6, 1-18

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of land property rights integrity, subdivided into use rights, mortgage rights, and transfer rights, on household perceptions of long-term tenure security in China. To this end, we establish a theoretical framework that links China’s collective forest tenure reforms undertaken since 2003 to property rights integrity and two sources of tenure (in)security based on property rights theory: forestland reallocation and expropriation. Probit models are applied in the empirical analysis to household data collected in Jiangxi province in 2011 and 2013. The results indicate that household perceptions of tenure insecurity resulting from forestland reallocation expectations are affected by transfer rights, whereas household perceptions of insecurity resulting from forestland expropriation expectations are not affected by forestland rights. We thus suggest that it is crucial for policymakers to identify the sources of local property rights insecurity before they take steps to strengthen land tenure security. This paper contributes to the available literature on the relationship between property rights integrity and tenure security by identifying different sources of tenure insecurity, emphasizing the effect of property rights integrity on long-term tenure security, and taking into account the potential endogeneity problem.

Keywords: forest tenure reform; property rights integrity; tenure security; land reallocation; land expropriation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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