Cultivate or Rent Out? Land Security in Rural Thailand

39 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2005

See all articles by Xavier Giné

Xavier Giné

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Date Written: October 2005


In the 1980's the Thai government tried to legalize squatters by issuing special titles that restricted the sale and rental of the land. Using data from 2,874 farming households collected in 1997, the author finds that in places where these government titles where issued, leased plots are more likely to be titled than those that are self-cultivated. For these areas, he uses a model to estimate a 6 percent risk premium in the rental rate for untitled plots. In other areas, however, land rights play no role in the decision to lease land and the rental rate of untitled plots does not include a risk premium. The results indicate that this policy distorted the land rental market by triggering a sense of insecurity among landowners.

Keywords: Property rights, land titling, development policy, externality

JEL Classification: P14, Q15, Q23, Q28, O13, O17, O18

Suggested Citation

Gine, Xavier, Cultivate or Rent Out? Land Security in Rural Thailand (October 2005). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 3734. Available at SSRN:

Xavier Gine (Contact Author)

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H. Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States


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