Conflicts Over Property Rights and Natural Resource Exploitation at the Frontier
Posted: 16 Feb 2002
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: Suggested Citation