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Mysteries and Myths: De Soto, Property and Poverty in South Africa

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dc.contributor.author Kingwill, Rosalee
dc.contributor.author Cousins, Ben
dc.contributor.author Cousins, Tessa
dc.contributor.author Hornby, Donna
dc.contributor.author Royston, Lauren
dc.contributor.editor Royston, Lauren
dc.date.accessioned 2010-08-16T14:47:42Z
dc.date.available 2010-08-16T14:47:42Z
dc.date.issued 2006 en_US
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/10535/6034
dc.description.abstract "Hernando De Soto’s influential book The Mystery of Capital offers a simple yet beguiling message: capitalism can be made to work for the poor through formalising their property rights in houses, land and small businesses. Yet this paper presents evidence from South Africa to suggest that many of de Soto’s policy prescriptions may be inappropriate for the poorest and most vulnerable, and could have negative impacts on their security and well-being. The authors draw on case studies and the literature to show that: • Titling does not necessarily increase tenure security or certainty; in many cases it does the opposite. • Formalisation of property rights does not promote lending to the poor. Rather than turning their property into ‘capital’, formalisation could increase the rate of homelessness. • Formalisation through registered title deeds creates unaffordable costs for many poor people. • Informal property systems currently support a vibrant rental market; formalisa- tion could undermine this, producing unintended negative consequences for the poor. • ‘The poor’ are not homogeneous and those in the extra-legal sector should be differentiated according to income and vulnerability status. • Such an approach does not mesh with rural common property resources which are never exclusive to one person, and which have fluid boundaries and flexible rules." en_US
dc.language English en_US
dc.publisher International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries Gatekeeper Series, no. 124 en_US
dc.subject capitalism en_US
dc.subject poverty en_US
dc.subject property rights en_US
dc.subject smallholders en_US
dc.title Mysteries and Myths: De Soto, Property and Poverty in South Africa en_US
dc.type Book en_US
dc.type.published published en_US
dc.type.methodology Case Study en_US
dc.coverage.region Africa en_US
dc.coverage.country South Africa en_US
dc.subject.sector Social Organization en_US
dc.identifier.citationpubloc London en_US

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