Do Stronger Collective Property Rights Improve Household Welfare? Evidence from a Field Study in Fiji

56 Pages Posted: 16 Feb 2012  

Terra Lawson-Remer

The New School Graduate Program in International Affairs; United Nations - World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU/WIDER); New York University

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 15, 2012

Abstract

A diverse body of recent research identifies collective ownership as a potentially better institution for common pool resource governance under some conditions than either private or state ownership. Extensive previous work analyzes the structure and functioning of successful collective ownership institutions, but there has been limited research examining the impact of stronger collective ownership rights on household welfare. Exploiting a natural experiment - in which some villages were exogenously included in a provincial level initiative to strengthen collective ownership rights over fisheries, while villages in a neighboring province were excluded - this article uses a unique dataset to examine the impact of collective fisheries ownership on household income and food consumption. Strengthening collective ownership rights increases household consumption of marine resources and decreases consumption of inferior canned-food substitutes, but does not increase monetary income. Income improvements that at first appear due to stronger collective ownership institutions can instead be attributed to NGO project support.

Keywords: collective ownership, common pool resources, consumption

Suggested Citation

Lawson-Remer, Terra, Do Stronger Collective Property Rights Improve Household Welfare? Evidence from a Field Study in Fiji (February 15, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2005954 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2005954

Terra Lawson-Remer (Contact Author)

The New School Graduate Program in International Affairs ( email )

66 W. 12th Street
New York, NY 10011
United States

United Nations - World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU/WIDER) ( email )

Katajanokanlaituri 6B
Helsinki, FIN-00160
Finland

New York University ( email )

New York, NY
United States

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