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2011-10-21 | Peer Reviewed

Forest Tenure Reform in China: A Choice Experiment on Farmers’ Property Rights Preferences

Qin, Ping, Fredrik Carlsson and Jintao Xu. 2011. “Forest Tenure Reform in China: A Choice Experiment on Farmers’ Property Rights Preferences.” Land Economics 87:3: 473-487.
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Decentralization experiments are currently underway in the Chinese forestry sector. However, researchers and policy makers tend to ignore a key question: what do forest farmers really want from reform?

This paper addresses this question using a survey-based choice experiment to investigate farmers’ preferences for various property rights attributes of a forestland contract. We found that farmers are highly concerned with the types of rights provided by a contract. Reducing perceived risks of contract termination and introducing a priority right for the renewal of an existing contract significantly increases farmers’ marginal willingness to pay for a forest contract. (JEL Q51, Q58)