Swinnen, Johan Van Herck, Kristine Vranken, Liesbet
Year of Publication:
LICOS Discussion Paper Series 355
The creation of optimal land institutions attracted renewed attention in the 1990s because of its central role in the transition process in former Communist countries in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe and more recently because of largescale land investments in developing countries. This paper documents the existence of large variations in land institutions (markets and regulation) using current and historical data from Western and Eastern Europe. It then offers explanations for these differences and draws implications for the role and optimality of land institutions in development (with special reference to the current debate on large scale land acquisitions).