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08-10: Property Rights and Operation of Factor Markets
Land administration & property titles
What do the Land Registries serve for? In a complex society there are institutions that made possible impersonal and abstract trust. Secure and well defined property rights is one of the foundations of the economic development. The exchange of "rights in rem" takes place through contracts, which have been previously checked (ex ante control). This leads to a reduction of transaction costs and information asymmetries. Blockchain and smart contracts theorists believe that this new technology can perform (substitute), in a decentralized environment, the functions that until the present have been done by the Land Registries. But these new technology is challenged because the (truth) exactness of the contracts cannot be proved and thus the chain of contracts becomes uncertain.
Romania’s Housing Privatization as an Anticommons Problem
World Bank group, United States of America
Romania has the world’s highest share of privately owned housing. It has also experienced a rapid shift in housing property rights ever, which changed from the most strictly publicly-controlled of any economy to one where individual decision-making became the highest in the world. And while it would appear that the widespread private ownership would lead to a well-functioning housing market, this is unfortunately not the case. As many have pointed out, the so-called “tragedies” in literature on common pool resources are often really fables that overlook details about how these resources ultimately get managed. Unfortunately, for Romania’s housing sector, the word tragedy appears to be an all too accurate description of how property rights have been allocated.
Romania’s common pool tragedies are an outcome of the strictly controlled housing rights under the old regime, and also the fact that the new property rights definition ignores the effects of the old system on the spatial, management, and architectural dimensions of the housing stock. Unless more attention is given to property rights governing the use of buildings rather than those of individual housing units, Romania will continue to have limited labor mobility, and a housing market that is unresponsive to demand.
Public/Public Tenure Dualism in China: How the Dichotomy between State and Collective Ownership Has Shaped Urbanization and Driven the Emergence of Wealth Inequality
former Visiting Professor, Renmin University, Beijing; former Senior Land Law and Land Tenure Expert, World Bank; former Director, Land Tenure Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison
In China, the two basic forms of land ownership are both public: state ownership, which applies to all urban land, and collective ownership, which applies to almost all rural land. This paper examines how China’s dual land tenure system originated; how it has shaped China’s urbanization and contributed to both modernization and the rise of dramatic wealth inequality; what its intended and unintended results have been; how far the tenure reform program now taking shape will alter the nature and extent of that dualism, and how adequately those changes will address dualism's problematic impacts. The paper also examines from a comparative perspective how tenure dualism is employed elsewhere to disadvantage one portion of the nation and advantage another. This is often seen in post-colonial polities. The similarities and contrasts between dualism and its role in the Chinese and post-colonial cases are revealing. They also have implications for the applicability of the Chinese model of modernization through urbanization in other developing country contexts.