Assistant Professor in Economics, University of Warwick
Research Fellow, CGD Europe
Secure property rights have long been seen as a crucial enabler of economic development. David Cameron's recent `Golden Thread of Development', mentioned property rights as `one of the building blocks that takes countries from poverty to prosperity.' This view has long been held by the world’s multilateral and bilateral aid donors, of which many spend a significant amount of resources promoting the development of formal property right regimes in developing countries. Yet, despite high expectations, evidence of the impact of formal property rights is still incomplete.
In this month’s Sandwich Seminar, Thiemo Fetzer presents new work (with Samuel Marden, University of Sussex) which examines the impact of secure property rights on conflict in the Brazilian Amazon. Relying on data on how the contestability of land titles vary across both time and space, Fetzer and Marden find that most land conflict in the Brazilian Amazon is due to a failure to securely assign property rights. They also provide evidence suggesting that, in the presence of weak property rights, shocks to the asset (land) values are correlated with an intensiﬁcation of land related conﬂicts.
The CGD Europe Sandwich Seminars bring some of the world's leading development scholars to discuss their new research and ideas. The presentations aim to meet an academic standard of quality, are at times technical, and retain a focus on a mixed audience of researchers and policy-makers.