A Model of Rural Conflict: Violence and Land Reform Policy in Brazil
Environment and Development Economics, Vol. 4, 1999
Posted: 14 Dec 1999
In this paper we analyze the underlying determinants of rural land conflicts in Brazil involving squatters, landowners, the federal government, the courts and INCRA, the land reform agency. We present a model where squatters and landowners strategically choose to engage in violence to advance their aims. Landowners use violence as a means of increasing the likelihood of successful eviction of squatters, and squatters use violence to increase the probability that the farm will be expropriated in their favor as part of the government?s land reform program. We test the model?s predictions using state-level data for Brazil for 22 states from 1988 through 1995 that we have assembled. The tests reveal that the government?s land reform policy, which is based on expropriation and settlement projects, paradoxically may be encouraging both of the major antagonists to engage in more violence, rather than reducing conflicts. If true, the existing land reform policy should be reconsidered because it is in conflict with the government?s efforts to reduce violent land disputes.
Note: This is a description of the paper and is not the actual abstract.
JEL Classification: O18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation