Political economy of development

The economic, social & political effects of land rights

The Peri Urban Rangeland Project (PURP) is an ongoing study investigating the effects of granting exclusive use rights to large plots of grazing land among semi nomadic herders in peri urban areas in several Mongolian provinces. The research relies on a randomized field experiment in which land rights have been assigned to groups of herders via public lotteries. The basic aim of the project is to alleviate the consequences of a tragedy of the commons arising due to the status quo situation of rangeland being common use in Mongolia. Outcomes of interest include household income, rangeland & herd management practices, migration, animal health & productivity, rangeland quality & productivity as well as auxiliary outcomes such as interpersonal and political trust, prosocial behaviour (e.g. altruism & reciprocity) and political participation.

A second project, also in Mongolia, asks whether property and land rights lead to better access to credit and increased investments in one’s land.The widely held assumption is they do, but there is little evidence to support this assumption. In Mongolia, many recent migrants to urban areas lack property rights. We are evaluating the impact of two versions of a program that provides direct assistance to households seeking to privatize and register land plots. We are measure the programs' impact on the migrants' access to credit, investment in land and housing, property values, labor market outcomes and household income.

The returns to vocational training

Does admission to a Vocational and Technical Education Training (TVET) school increase the wages and employability of the poor? This study evaluates the admission to TVET schools in Mongolia on both academic and labor-market outcomes. We hypothesize that being admitted to a TVET school will cause students to have better labor market outcomes. We hypothesize that admission to TVET schools will increase their factual understanding of trades and familiarize the students with the tools actually used by employers. Employers should then find students more productive than they otherwise would, making it more likely that students will be able to find employment and increasing the wages that employers are willing to pay them. To identify these effects, we worked with a select set of TVET schools in Mongolia to conduct admissions lotteries in three admission years, 2010, 2011, and 2012. Baseline data was collected at time of admission application and follow-up data will be analyzed to assess the impact of TVET admission on labor market outcomes.
People: Erica Field (co-PI); Leigh Linden (co-PI); Shing-Yi Wang (co-PI)

Funding: Millennium Challenge Corporation

Partner institutions: Innovations for Poverty Action; MCC

Summaries & briefs: IPA TVET project summary