Property Rights, Land Liquidity and Internal Migration

63 Pages Posted: 25 Dec 2010 Last revised: 8 Mar 2013

See all articles by Eugenia Chernina

Eugenia Chernina

National Research University Higher School of Economics

Paul Castañeda Dower

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Andrei Markevich

New Economic School

Date Written: March 7, 2013

Abstract

In the early twentieth century, a large number of households resettled from the European to the Asian part of the Russian Empire. We propose that this dramatic migration was rooted in institutional changes initiated by the 1906 Stolypin land titling reform. One might expect better property rights to decrease the propensity to migrate by improving economic conditions in the reform area. However, this titling reform increased land liquidity and actually promoted migration by easing financial constraints and decreasing opportunity costs. Treating the reform as a quasi-natural experiment, we employ difference-in-differences analysis on a panel of province-level data that describe migration and economic conditions. We find that the reform had a sizeable effect on migration. To verify the land liquidity effect, we exploit variation in the number of households participating in the reform. This direct measure of the reform mechanism estimates that land liquidity explains approximately 18% of migration during this period.

Keywords: property rights, liquidity constraints, migration

JEL Classification: J61, N33, N53, O12, O13

Suggested Citation

Chernina, Eugenia and Castañeda Dower, Paul and Markevich, Andrei, Property Rights, Land Liquidity and Internal Migration (March 7, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1730730 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1730730

Eugenia Chernina

National Research University Higher School of Economics ( email )

Myasnitskaya street, 20
Moscow, Moscow 119017
Russia

Paul Castañeda Dower

University of Wisconsin-Madison ( email )

Madison
Madison, WI 53705

Andrei Markevich (Contact Author)

New Economic School ( email )

100 Novaya Street
Skolkovo
Moscow, 143025
Russia
+79629851892 (Phone)
+74991293722 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://fir.nes.ru/en/people/professors/Pages/amarkevich.aspx

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