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
01-05: Local authorities, tenure security, and structural transformation
Wednesday, 15/May/2024:
8:00am - 10:00am

Session Chair: Iain Shuker, World Bank, United States of America
Location: MC 13-121

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Land tenure security and deforestation: experimental evidence from Uganda

Sarah Walker, Jennifer Alix-Garcia, Anne Bartlett, Alice Calder

Oregon State University, United States of America

We conduct a framed field experiment, designed after real tenure structures in Uganda, to elucidate the impact of land tenure security on deforestation. From a sample frame of households with access to forests, we randomly select 1,632 participants, across six districts and 91 villages in Uganda, to make harvest and conservation decisions over an experimental forest. One-third of participants faced insecure tenure through the threat of eviction, one-third had the option to secure tenure through costly certification, and one-third faced secure tenure. The results show that insecure tenure increases tree extraction by 23%, while certification reduces that effect by half. The conservation effects of certification are intensified for participants with a lived experience of land tenure insecurity. Our findings demonstrate that land certification can improve environmental outcomes and that these effects may be amplified in regions with historical legacies of insecurity.


Who gains from individual property rights? Evidence from the allotment of Mapuche reservations

Felipe Jordán Colzani2, Robert Heilmayr1

1University of California, Santa Barbara, United States of America; 2Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Individual property rights can improve economic efficiency but may expose marginalized groups to dispossession. We use a geographic regression discontinuity design to quantify the long-term impacts of individual rights on the socioeconomic conditions of the Mapuche, Chile's largest indigenous group. The transition from communally-held titles to individual rights reduced Mapuche control over land, while improving land use efficiency and labor allocation. Although socioeconomic conditions within former reservations improved, exposure to dispossession prevented the Mapuche from sharing in the economic benefits of individual property rights.

01-05-Jordán Colzani-471_paper.pdf
01-05-Jordán Colzani-471_ppt.pdf

Indigenous community recognition, identity, and democracy

Michael Albertus

University of Chicago, United States of America

Collective recognition of indigenous claims to land and traditional authority has advanced rapidly in recent decades in many countries. How do these processes impact identity and views of democracy among individuals within communities themselves? I examine this in Peru, where the government has recognized thousands of indigenous communities covering one-third of the national territory. I leverage spatial and temporal variation in community recognition paired with detailed household survey data and find, using age cohort analysis, that the effects vary by generation in ways shaped by land access and scarcity. Experiencing recognition increases community self-identification, community membership, and positive views of democracy. But the effects are strongest among adults and near-adults at the time of recognition, who are best positioned to win greater access to scarce community land and invest in community life immediately post-recognition. Peru’s communities, like in many postcolonial states, struggle with multigenerational reconstitution following legacies of land dispossession.


Losing territory: The effect of administrative district splits on land use in the tropics

Lennart Reiners1, Elías Cisneros2, Krisztina Kis-Katos3

1Asian Development Bank, Philippines; 2The University of Texas at Dallas; 3University of Göttingen, IZA, and RWI research networks

This study rigorously examines the impact of state decentralization on land use in Indonesia, focusing on the creation of new administrative units over the past two decades. Despite the anticipated improvement in local governance, the nuanced effects on land use and forest dynamics remain ambiguous. Employing a spatial boundary discontinuity design with 14,000 Indonesian villages and analyzing 115 district splits, we uncover a significant 35% decline in deforestation within newly formed districts compared to their pre-existing counterparts, both pre and post-split. Pre-split, this links to agricultural divestment by mother districts anticipating territorial adjustments. Post-split, transient conservation benefits emerge due to administrative challenges impeding significant agricultural investments. Crucially, these benefits vanish, as deforestation levels between child and mother districts equalize in subsequent years. This research provides nuanced insights into the intricate interplay of state decentralization, land use dynamics, and forest outcomes in Indonesia.


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