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Land Reform Policies, The Sources of Violent Conflict and Implications for Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon

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dc.contributor.author Alston, Lee J.
dc.contributor.author Libecap, Gary D.
dc.contributor.author Mueller, Bernardo
dc.date.accessioned 2010-04-21T13:53:39Z
dc.date.available 2010-04-21T13:53:39Z
dc.date.issued 2001 en_US
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/10535/5714
dc.description.abstract "In this paper we examine land reform policies and their implications for violent conflict over land and resource use in the Brazilian Amazon. We identify the protagonists (land owners and squatters), derive their incentives to use violence, and show the role of legal inconsistencies as a basis for conflict. Although civil law guarantees title for land owners, the Brazilian Constitution adds a beneficial use criterion as a condition for title enforcement. This provision is part of a land reform or redistribution effort and it provides authorization for transfers to squatters. We describe the government agency involved in land reform, INCRA, and show that its intervention critically affects the actions of both squatters and land owners. Further, we point out the resource use effects of land reform policies and associated insecure property rights to land. Forested lands on large farms do not meet the constitutional beneficial use criterion and hence, are vulnerable to invasion by squatters and redistribution by INCRA. In the contest for control, land owners and squatters have incentives to deforest more rapidly and extensively prior to a conflict than agricultural production alone would warrant in order to demonstrate their respective land use. In analyzing the determinants of violent conflict, an analytical framework is provided to generate hypotheses for testing. Using data from the Brazilian census and the Pastoral Land Commission for the state of Pará we examine the characteristics of regions where violent conflict redominates. Our empirical results indicate that a greater policy emphasis on land reform in Brazil through expropriation to reduce violent conflict, may have the unanticipated effect of increasing violent competition and wasteful resource use. The results of the paper are suggestive not only for Brazil, but for elsewhere in Latin America where there is tension between the goals of secure property rights and wealth redistribution." en_US
dc.language English en_US
dc.subject land tenure and use en_US
dc.subject conflict en_US
dc.subject property rights en_US
dc.subject policy reform en_US
dc.subject deforestation en_US
dc.subject violence en_US
dc.subject Amazon River region en_US
dc.title Land Reform Policies, The Sources of Violent Conflict and Implications for Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon en_US
dc.type Conference Paper en_US
dc.type.published unpublished en_US
dc.type.methodology Case Study en_US
dc.coverage.region South America en_US
dc.coverage.country Brazil en_US
dc.subject.sector Forestry en_US
dc.subject.sector Land Tenure & Use en_US
dc.identifier.citationconference Property Rights, Institutions, and Management of Environmental and Natural Resources, the Fourth Toulouse Conference on Environment and Resource Economics en_US
dc.identifier.citationconfdates May 3-4, 2001 en_US
dc.identifier.citationconfloc Toulouse, France en_US

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