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Effects of Land Property Rights: Cases from Three Continents

AAEA session at 2022 ASSA Annual Meeting

Heirs' property or tangled title property has received increasing attention from the media and public agencies and elected officials in the wake of major disasters, particularly in the southeastern U.S., as they can complicate recovery. They have also been identified as a driver of the racial wealth divide in the U.S.

The AAEA session taking place at the 2022 ASSA Annual Meeting, “Effects of Land Property Rights: Cases from Three Continents”, brings three papers from three different continents to highlight the effects of the lack of land property rights. The first paper looks at heirs' property rights issues in the United States. In this paper, the authors from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta highlight a likelihood of land loss due to the precarity of shared ownership structure. They take Jacksonville, Florida, as a case to demonstrate how lack of property rights affects the family, neighborhood, and the broader urban region. In the second paper, the authors from the World Bank explore the lack of land property rights on land inheritance in Malawi. They find that having long-term land rights of bequest and sale significantly impacts investment and cash crop adoption. Finally, in the third paper, the authors find that land titling reduces land abandonment by enhancing land property rights, especially in an unsecured property rights scenario.

  • Heirs’ Property in an Urban Context

Sarah Stein, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
Ann Carpenter, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

  • Investment Impacts of Gendered Land Rights in Customary Tenure Systems: Substantive and Methodological Insights from Malawi

Klaus Deininger, World Bank
Fang Xia, University of International Business and Economics
Talip Kilic, World Bank
Heather Moylan, World Bank

  • Influence of the Land Titling Policy on Land Abandonment in China

Kai Liu, Zhongkai University of Agriculture and Engineering
Mingzhong Luo, South China Agricultural University
Krishna Paudel, USDA Economic Research Service
Wenjue Zhu, Guangdong University of Foreign Language

If you are interested in viewing the virtual session on Friday, January 7, 2022 from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm Eastern, please contact Allison Ware in the AAEA Business Office.

ABOUT AAEA: Established in 1910, the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) is the leading professional association for agricultural and applied economists, with 2,500 members in more than 60 countries. Members of the AAEA work in academic or government institutions as well as in industry and not-for-profit organizations, and engage in a variety of research, teaching, and outreach activities in the areas of agriculture, the environment, food, health, and international development. The AAEA publishes two journals, the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, as well as the online magazine Choices and the online open access publication series Applied Economics Teaching Resources. To learn more, visit

Contact: Allison Ware
Senior Communications Manager
(414) 918-3190