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Land Reform Policies, the Sources of Violent Conflict and Implications for Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon


Lee J. Alston


University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Bernardo Mueller


Universidade de Brasilia

Gary D. Libecap


University of California, Santa Barbara - Donald Bren School of Environmental Science & Management; University of Arizona - Karl Eller Center; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

September 2001

FEEM Working Paper No. 70.2001

Abstract:     
We examine land reform policies and their implications for violent conflict over land and resource use in the Brazilian Amazon. We identify the protagonists (land owners and squatters), derive their incentives to use violence, and show the role of legal inconsistencies as a basis for conflict. Although civil law guarantees title for land owners, the Brazilian Constitution adds a beneficial use criterion as a condition for title enforcement. This provision is part of a land reform or redistribution effort and it provides authorization for transfers to squatters. We describe the government agency involved in land reform, INCRA, and show that its intervention critically affects the actions of both squatters and land owners. Further, we point out the resource use effects of land reform policies and associated insecure property rights to land.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 46

JEL Classification: L2, N5, Q2

working papers series


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Date posted: October 14, 2001  

Suggested Citation

Alston, Lee J. and Mueller, Bernardo and Libecap, Gary D., Land Reform Policies, the Sources of Violent Conflict and Implications for Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon (September 2001). FEEM Working Paper No. 70.2001. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=286700 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.286700

Contact Information

Lee J. Alston
University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Economics ( email )
Campus Box 483
Boulder, CO 80309
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.colorado.edu/ibs/EB/alston/
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Bernardo Mueller
Universidade de Brasilia ( email )
Dept. de Economia
Universidade de Brasilia
Brasilia, DF 70910-900
Brazil
55 61 3307-3204 (Phone)
55 61 3349-1303 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.angelfire.com/ky2/mueller/
Gary D. Libecap (Contact Author)
University of California, Santa Barbara - Donald Bren School of Environmental Science & Management ( email )
4670 Physical Sciences North
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-5131
United States
805-893-8611 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.esm.ucsb.edu/people/usernew.asp?user=glibecap
University of Arizona - Karl Eller Center ( email )
McClelland Hall
Tucson, AZ 85721-0108
United States
520-621-4821 (Phone)
520-626-5269 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.bpa.arizona.edu/~libecap
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
PERC - Property and Environment Research Center
2048 Analysis Drive
Suite A
Bozeman, MT 59718
United States

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Citations:  13
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