Thanks But No Thanks: A New Policy to Reduce Land Conflict

27 Pages Posted: 9 Jul 2014

See all articles by Martin Dufwenberg

Martin Dufwenberg

University of Arizona - Department of Economics

Gunnar Köhlin

Göteborg University - Department of Economics

Peter Martinsson

University of Gothenburg - Department of Economics and Statistics

Haileselassie Medhin

University of Gothenburg - School of Global Studies

Date Written: June 25, 2014

Abstract

Land conflicts in developing countries are costly. An important policy goal is to create respect for borders. This often involves mandatory, expensive interventions. We propose a new policy design, which in theory promotes neighborly relations at low cost. A salient feature is the option to by-pass regulation through consensus. The key idea combines the insight that social preferences transform social dilemmas into coordination problems with the logic of forward induction. As a first, low-cost pass at empirical evaluation, we conduct an experiment among farmers in the Ethiopian highlands, a region exhibiting features typical of countries where borders are often disputed. Our results suggest that a low-cost land delimitation based on neighborly recognition of borders could deliver a desired low-conflict situation if accompanied by an optional higher cost demarcation process.

Keywords: conflict, land-conflict game, social preferences, forward induction, Ethiopia, experiment, land reform

JEL Classification: C78, C93, D63, Q15

Suggested Citation

Dufwenberg, Martin and Kohlin, Gunnar and Martinsson, Peter and Medhin, Haileselassie, Thanks But No Thanks: A New Policy to Reduce Land Conflict (June 25, 2014). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 4864, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2463604

Martin Dufwenberg (Contact Author)

University of Arizona - Department of Economics ( email )

McClelland Hall
Tucson, AZ 85721-0108
United States

Gunnar Kohlin

Göteborg University - Department of Economics ( email )

Göteborg
Sweden

Peter Martinsson

University of Gothenburg - Department of Economics and Statistics ( email )

Box 640
Vasagatan 1, E-building, floor 5 & 6
Göteborg, 40530
Sweden

Haileselassie Medhin

University of Gothenburg - School of Global Studies ( email )

POB 700
Gothenburg, SE 40530
Sweden

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