On the Political Economy of Latin American Land Reforms
Private ownership of land has been stressed in the development literature as key to increasing productivity in the agricultural sector. The beneficiaries of the redistributive land reforms undertaken in many Latin American countries, however, did not receive the individual property right of the land. This paper suggests that this type of reform was a measure intended to favor not the peasantry, but the landed elite of those countries. It is shown that if land is the abundant factor land rent is decreasing with the total amount of privately owned land. Thus, the landed elite favored giving the peasants land under a restricted ownership regime. (Copyright: Elsevier)
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