A 'De Soto Effect in Industry? Evidence from The Russian Federation
33 Pages Posted: 23 Nov 2012
Date Written: November 22, 2012
The empirical literature assessing the connection between land rights, access to finance and investment activity has focused largely on actors that, for multiple reasons, might face difficulties accessing credit. Communities of small-scale farmers or poor urban households in developing countries, that is, may not be the best place to look for evidence as to whether more secure land rights are sufficient to facilitate borrowing by providing borrowers with a collateralizable asset. We explore this relationship in a setting in which financial market frictions are apt to be less severe – i.e., among large, urban, industrial enterprises. Exploiting policy-induced variation across Russian regions, we use recently-collected survey data to show that private rights to land do indeed facilitate access to external financing and promote investment. This finding is supplemented by additional survey evidence that points to private land serving as an important source of collateral.
Keywords: industrial land, property rights, Russia, collateral
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