Marie Michael Library
Breathing life into dead theories about property rights: de Soto and land relations in rural Africa
In the early 1990s, there was a presumption of a direct casual link between formalisation of property rights and economic productivity. The work of Hernando de Soto has revived this theory. De Soto argues that formal property rights hold the key to poverty reduction by unlocking the capital potential of assets held informally by poor people. This paper argues shortcomings in both the old and contemporary arguments for formalisation of land title.
Institute of Development Studies (IDS)
Property rights, Agriculture, Poverty reduction, Land tenure