Economics at your fingertips  

Trust or Property Rights ? Can Trusted Relationships Substitute for Costly Land Registration in West African Cities ?

Lucie Letrouit () and Harris Selod ()

No 9310, Policy Research Working Paper Series from The World Bank

Abstract: The paper studies the market failures associated with land tenure insecurity and information asymmetry in an urban land use model, and analyzes households' responses to mitigate tenure insecurity. When buyers and sellers of land plots can pair along trusted kinship lines whereby deception (the non-disclosure of competing claims on a land plot to a buyer) is socially penalized, information asymmetry is attenuated, but overall participation in the land market is reduced. Alternatively, when owners can make land plots secure by paying to register them in a cadaster, both information asymmetry and tenure insecurity are reduced, but the registration cost limits land market participation at the periphery of the city. The paper then compares the overall surpluses under these trust and registration models and under a hybrid version of the model that reflects the context of today's West African cities where both registration and trusted relationships are simultaneously available to residents. The analysis highlights the substitutability of trusted relationships to costly registration and predicts the gradual evolution of economies towards the socially preferable registration system if registration costs can be sufficiently reduced.

Keywords: Agricultural Economics; Regulatory Regimes; Judicial System Reform; Legal Reform; Legal Products; Legislation; Social Policy; Common Property Resource Development; Urban Housing and Land Settlements; Urban Housing; Municipal Management and Reform; Urban Governance and Management; Transport Services (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-06-30
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-soc
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) ... t-African-Cities.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in Policy Research Working Paper Series from The World Bank 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Roula I. Yazigi ().

Page updated 2023-05-25
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:9310