Thomas Markussen, Department of Economics

"Property rights, political connections and land-related investment in rural Vietnam"


This paper uses household panel data from rural Vietnam to explore the effects of having a relative in a position of political or bureaucratic power. Our main result is that households significantly increase their investment in land improvement due to such ties. A main explanation appears to be that connections to office holders strengthen de-facto land property rights. Our analysis also suggests that discrimination in favor of relatives leads to substantial efficiency losses.