The paper examines the claim that a virtuous cycle of more secure land rights, more land-saving investments, and denser populations requires the development of institutions that regulate competition over land. We construct a contest model that links the tenure-security-investment relationship to the efforts of land users to enhance land rights themselves and the role of institutional protection. We study the effect of population growth on a close-to-subsistence economy, including the possibility that it weakens institutional protection. We derive sufficient conditions for a positive effect on land investment, but also show that population growth can push the economy into a low-productivity trap.
|Number of pages||39|
|Journal||Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics|
|Early online date||16 Mar 2020|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 2020|