Submissions Accepted for Presentation at the World Bank Land Conference 2024

The conference agenda provides an overview and details of sessions. In order to view sessions on a specific day or for a certain room, please select an appropriate date or room link. You may also select a session to explore available abstracts and download papers and presentations.

Session Overview
03-02: Do institutional design and state capacity affect demand for property title and sustainability??
Tuesday, 14/May/2024:
10:30am - 12:30pm

Session Chair: Chris Penrose-Buckley, Foreign, Commonwealth & development Office of the United Kingdom (FCDO), United Kingdom
Location: MC 8-100

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Who wants property rights? Conjoint evidence from Senegal

Matthew Ribar

Stanford University, United States of America

Previous research assumes that households pursue formal land titles when titles are available. Land titles are hypothesized to increase tenure security, but where households distrust state institutions, they may doubt that land titles will reduce expropriation. I use a field conjoint experiment of 1,164 household heads across rural Senegal to understand which attributes affect the perceived likelihood of winning a land dispute. Land titles increase the likelihood of winning a perceived land dispute for all respondents, but the effect is weaker for those who distrust formal institutions. Social proximity to customary elites does not affect these results. A structural topic model shows that where formal titles are not a deciding factor, respondents discuss improvements made to the land. This paper shows the role of politics in conditioning households demand for formal property rights and advances a growing literature on the political economy of informality.


State reach and gender norms: Examining the uptake of equitable land rights in Malawi

Lauren Honig1, Adam Harris2, Ellen Lust3

1Boston College, United States of America; 2University College London; 3University of Gothenburg

The state's reach has been shown to impact civil conflict, democracy, and the power of local authorities. In this paper, we demonstrate that it also affects the social institutions that govern gender and property rights. We draw on an original household-level survey in Malawi to show that state reach is associated with variations in women’s property rights at the community and household level, while taking into account land values, migration patterns, market access, ethnic heterogeneity, education, household income, and, critically, matriliny/patriliny. These results are complemented by evidence from 32 gender-segregated focus groups with smallholder farmers. This research addresses broader questions of heterogeneity and change within the social institutions that structure individual behavior, as well as the role state reach plays in securing property rights for women in Africa.


Why land registration systems fail.The case of Torrens in USA

Nicolás Nogueroles

University Pompeu Fabra (UPF), Barcelona Spain

At the begininng there were Torrens Laws in ninteen States but today they are only in force in four. The paper points out the reason for the failure is not only due to the vested interests but it also goes further about the mistakes in the basic design.

The first claims against the Torrens were based on its constitutionality because it was said not to respect the due proces of law. This resulted in several sentences and academic studies that showed a high level of understanding of a Registration system.

The mistaken design which lead to a failureof th system was due to: 1) the expense and cmplexityof the procedures; 2) the mistakes made in the procedure to examine the titles and the organization of human capital; 3 The regulation of the insurance fund; and 4) the possibility to withdraw the property title.

Conclusion the consecuences and costs bad elections


Tanzania demand for documentation study: who pays for land documents, and why?

Lauren Persha1, Yuliya Panfil2, Sallie Sherman3, Mustapha Issa Mpelembe4, Mtalemwa Rutizibwa4

1NORC at the University of Chicago, United States of America; 2New America, United States of America; 3DAI, United States of America; 4LTA NGO, Tanzania

Despite the wealth of evidence demonstrating the importance of land documentation, providing land documents at scale in developing countries is often unsustainable for service providers, including country governments and donors. As a result, providers are increasingly evaluating and adopting financial models that help defray the costs of mapping and registering land at scale. These models – sometimes called cost-recovery models or beneficiary contribution models – typically ask the recipient of a land document to contribute some or all of the cost of registering their land.

This study examines a USAID-funded customary land formalization program that relied on a beneficiary contribution model to deliver tens of thousands of customary land certificates in rural Tanzania. Utilizing a mixed methods approach that draws on land registration data, a household survey and qualitative data collection, the study aims to provide insights into who is willing and able to pay for land documents, and why.


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