Conflicts Over Property Rights and Natural Resource Exploitation at the Frontier

Posted: 16 Feb 2002

Abstract

Competition for land at the frontier is analyzed by considering a game between a first settler and a contestant. Although the first settler is the legitimate owner of a plot of land, its remoteness from the government's administrative center makes it difficult to prove it. This creates incentives for a contestant to dispute his claims. Both contenders will expend resources in order to secure ownership. Due to transport costs, the more remote is a plot of land, the lower its output value; this tends to discourage appropriative activities. Land degradation is sometimes used as a substitute to appropriative activities. A lower discount rate may encourage land degradation.

Keywords: property rights, natural resources, frontier, conflicts, land degradation

JEL Classification: D23, D74, O13, Q20

Suggested Citation

Hotte, Louis, Conflicts Over Property Rights and Natural Resource Exploitation at the Frontier. Journal of Development Economics, Vol. 66, 2001. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=296633

Louis Hotte (Contact Author)

University of Ottawa ( email )

Department of Economics
55 Laurier E.
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6N5
Canada
+161 356 25800 1692 (Phone)
+161 356 25999 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://aix1.uottawa.ca/~lhott3/

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