Living Reference Work Entry

The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

pp 1-5

Date: Latest Version

Access to Land and Development

  • Alain de JanvryAffiliated with
  • , Elisabeth SadouletAffiliated with


Access to land can be an effective policy instrument for poverty reduction. This article shows how different types of property rights can affect access and use, analyses different modes of access, especially the role of land markets, and sets out some of the policy implications. It argues that making land an effective tool for development requires more than policing access: access must be secure, combined with the use of complementary inputs, and achieved in a context of institutions, public goods, and policies that allow the sustainable competitiveness of beneficiaries.


Access to land and development Agriculture and economic development Common property resources Democracy and economic development Family farm system Geographical information systems Human capital Inheritance rights Land markets Land reform Land registration Land use Natural capital Open-access resources Poverty alleviation programmes Property rights Rent control Rental markets Total factor productivity Tragedy of the commons

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