Rental markets, gender, and land certificates: evidence from Vietnam


Luciano Ayala



Universidad de las Américas Puebla


Land titles increase the probability of female landlords to receive compensation when leasing their land to relatives which is important for agricultural productivity

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Key Findings

Women without land certification are 25% less likely to receive compensation, but land certification changes this.
Non-market land transfers reduce productivity and affect landowner’s income.

    How to apply research

    Consider social norms, contexts, and vulnerable groups when launching a land certification process. Actively seek these groups out when considering implementation of land certification.
    Consider the demand side: why are certain groups not demanding certification. There will always be a cost for an individual gaining land certification, such as registration fees, but need to determine whether costs are systematic.
    Efficiency is often considered to be the most important aspect when focusing on land certification, however if the social impact is not considered, results can emerge that are different to the desired goals.
    This can research is applicable to any community or government considering investing in a land certification system. It would also be applicable to any countries with weak legal rights surrounding land ownership. Countries need to have a strong government so that land certification can be implemented sufficiently.

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      About this research

      This Journal Article was part of a collaborative effort

      Bruno Morando

      Funded by UNU-WIDER

      Recommended for

      About this research

      Funded by UNU-WIDER

      This paper was co-authored

      Bruno Morando

      Recommended for

      What findings means

      Land certification fixes the gender disparity in compensation. Women without land certification are 25% less likely to receive compensation, but land certification changes this. Most likely because certification increases bargaining power.

      There was a North, South split. Land certification was more impactful in the North, which may suggest that the north is driving the effects observed.

      Non-market transactions reduce productivity. Missing income from rentals represents 5% on average of total household income. For the lowest quintile however, this is 12%.


      Utilised the VARHS survey. A panel survey conducted every two years from 2008-2016. It is a representative sample of the rural population. 2131 households sampled over the five years. But it was not representative of provinces.

      However, this research can be considered descriptive as there is no natural experiment involved in the process. The paper cannot confirm causality but states there is a high level of correlation. Also observed the impact of an already established land certification process, not the creation of a brand new programme, so results may be different elsewhere.

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      Want to read the full paper? It is available open access

      Luciano Ayala-Cantu, Bruno Morando, (2020) ‘Rental markets, gender, and land certificates: Evidence from Vietnam’, Food Policy, Volume 94