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Essays on the Social Cost of Reduced Access to Land and Housing

Stefano Falcone

ULB Institutional Repository from ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles

Abstract: Property rights are a central feature of well-functioning economic systems. By shaping incentives to participate in economic activities, property rights lead to investment, development and growth. However, the exercise of property rights over assets necessary to our daily lives may come at a social cost. Employing quasi-experimental designs, I show that the exclusion of individuals from secure access to land and housing leads to the forcible appropriation of these assets for subsistence purposes. First, the expansion of commercial farming induced by a market-oriented reform in the mid-90s in Brazil led to an increase in cases of contested land. Results suggest that the effect on land disputes is mainly driven by the reduction of land informally accessible to local communities. Second, in the same context, local organizations facilitated political mobilization and this latter advanced land redistribution by the government. Third, the adoption of a policy inducing evictions in Ohio's cities from 2000 to 2016 led to an increase in property crime over potentially inhabitable assets. Findings seems to be driven by evicted women losing employment, hence leading to a reduction in income. Overall, this dissertation shows that individuals excluded from access to land and housing are pushed to employ force to use these assets.

Keywords: Conflict; Contested Land; Property Rights; Property Crime (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021-10-28
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-law and nep-ure
Note: Degree: Doctorat en Sciences économiques et de gestion
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