Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

EIJS Working Paper Series,
Stockholm School of Economics, The European Institute of Japanese Studies

No 233: POVERTY AND LAND POLICY IN CAMBODIA

Anders Engvall () and Ari Kokko ()
Additional contact information
Anders Engvall: European Institute of Japanese Studies, Postal: Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, S-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden
Ari Kokko: European Institute of Japanese Studies, Postal: Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, S-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: Slow agricultural development has restrained economic growth and poverty alleviation in Cambodia. The country's volatile history has left a legacy of weak tenure security and large areas of underutilized land. This study estimates the impact of access to land on poverty in a logistic regression framework using household survey data. Increased access to land is shown to significantly lower the risk of household poverty. Tenure security, land improvements and irrigation strengthens this effect. Simulations of the potential impact of a land reform package predicts a 16 percentage points fall in poverty incidence among landowning rural households and a 30-point fall when targeting the landless. The analysis suggests that improved tenure security should be at the top of the policy agenda. Given political and economic constraints, implementation of reforms remains a key challenge.

Keywords: Cambodia; Economic Development; Poverty; Property Rights; Land Reform

JEL-codes: I32; O12; O53; Q12; Q15

29 pages, June 1, 2007

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