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Disappearing Common Lands: A Perspective Emphasising Encroachment and Enforcement Costs

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Robinson, Liz
Conference: Voices from the Commons, the Sixth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Berkeley, CA
Conf. Date: June 5-8, 1996
Date: 1996
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/5581
Sector: Land Tenure & Use
Region: Middle East & South Asia
Subject(s): land tenure and use
common pool resources
village organization
Abstract: "This paper, based on research undertaken in Karnataka State, India, considers explicitly the period of transition from common to private land through encroachment. Although often accepted in practice, encroachment is illegal. Farmers who encroach face uncertainty both in terms of how other villagers and officials will react to their actions, and whether they will be removed from the other land or be given title to the land through regularization by the government. Detection and prevention of encroachment is costly, a function of how visible the encroachment is, and the total area of common land remaining. Hence, the uncertainty faced by encroachers is endogenous to their actions and they respond by making incremental extensions into the common land period by period, and by making particular types of investment. Under these conditions, the current efforts to control encroachment may merely be a costly way to delay the inevitable."

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