Land Ownership as Insurance and the Market for Land: A Study in Rural Vietnam

Gwendoline Promsopha


We propose simple empirical insights to analyze the relationship between the value of the safety net embedded in land and households’ decision to sell land. Land sales may differ from other kinds of land transactions such as rental, free loans, and gifts in terms of future capacities to safeguard livelihood. Households well insured through nonland riskcoping mechanisms are expected to make use of sales more frequently than others. We test this hypothesis with 2006 survey data from Vietnam and find that selling households are less vulnerable, better educated, and richer than those that use other transfer types. (JEL O13, O17)

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