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Institutions in TransitionLand Ownership, Property Rights and Social Conflict in China$
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Peter Ho

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199280698

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2005

DOI: 10.1093/019928069X.001.0001

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Going, Going, Gone! The Four Wastelands Auction Policy

Going, Going, Gone! The Four Wastelands Auction Policy

(p.124) 5 Going, Going, Gone! The Four Wastelands Auction Policy
Institutions in Transition

Peter Ho (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Deals with wasteland and related policies. In order to exploit wasteland resources, the central government launched the so-called Four Wastelands Auction Policy. This policy was hailed as a breakthrough in land management, which would open up undeveloped land resources, improve the ecological environment, and increase farmers’ income. The wastelands policy might spawn great changes in land tenure, because the auctions commercialize wasteland rights at an unprecedented scale. However, through in-depth case studies it is shown that the auction policy did not—and for the foreseeable future most likely will not—fulfil its proclaimed role in the reform of land rights, because both the institutions and the socio-economic conditions do not permit such changes. Worse even, in the cases studied, the auctions proved a complete failure and stirred up widespread grievances among the rural populace.

Keywords:   Four Wastelands Auction Policy, land market, rural poverty and livelihood, Rural–urban divide, soil and water conservation

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