Delinking land rights from land use: impact of certification on migration and land use in rural Mexico

Topic: 
Agricultural - Natural Resource Economics
Conflict, Crime and Violence
Paper author(s): 
Alain de Janvry (University of California at Berkeley)
Kyle Emerick (University of California at Berkeley)
Elisabeth Sadoulet (University of California at Berkeley)
Marco Gonzalez-Navarro (University of Toronto)
Year: 
2013

We show that removing the link between active use and land ownership through land certification results in increased outmigration. We use the rollout of the Mexican land certification program from 1993 to 2006 to show that households obtaining land certificates were subsequently 28% more likely to have a migrant member. This response was differentiated by initial land endowments, land quality, outside wages, and initial land security, as predicted by our model. Land under cultivation effects were heterogeneous: in high land quality regions land under cultivation increased while in low quality ones it was reduced.

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