Property Rights on First Nations' Reserve Land

40 Pages Posted: 5 Apr 2018

See all articles by Fernando M. Aragon

Fernando M. Aragon

Simon Fraser University (SFU) - Department of Economics

Anke S. Kessler

Simon Fraser University (SFU) - Department of Economics; University of Bonn - Economic Science Area; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: March 2018

Abstract

This paper examines the economic effects of existing private property rights on First Nations' reserves. We focus on three forms of land tenure regimes: lawful possession, designated land, and permits. These land regimes have been used to create individual land holdings, and grant secure and transferable rights of use of reserve land to band and non-band members. Using confidential Census micro-data and rich administrative data, we find evidence of improvements in home ownership and housing conditions, as well as increments in band's public spending. However, we find no significant impact on Aboriginal household income nor employment outcomes. Instead, we document that individual land holdings are associated with sizeable increases in the non-Aboriginal population. Our findings suggest that some caution is warranted when discussing the potential economic benefits of property right reforms for First Nations' communities.

Keywords: economic development, First Nations, institutions, Property rights

JEL Classification: O12, O43, P48, R14

Suggested Citation

Aragon, Fernando M. and Kessler, Anke S., Property Rights on First Nations' Reserve Land (March 2018). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP12818. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3155113

Fernando M. Aragon (Contact Author)

Simon Fraser University (SFU) - Department of Economics ( email )

8888 University Drive
Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6
Canada

Anke S. Kessler

Simon Fraser University (SFU) - Department of Economics ( email )

8888 University Drive
Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6
Canada
604-291-3443 (Phone)
604-291-5944 (Fax)

University of Bonn - Economic Science Area ( email )

Adenauerallee 24-42
D-53113 Bonn
Germany
+49 228 739 246 (Phone)
+49 228 739 221 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.wipol.uni-bonn.de/~kessler/

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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