Beginning with the reform period in the late s and accelerating during the late s, national and local authorities relaxed restrictions on obtaining urban residence permits. Migrants who do not meet these requirements usually cannot obtain public services such as health care and schooling for their children on an equal basis with other residents. These uneven reforms to the hukou system discriminate against poor migrant workers in favor of the wealthy and educated.
As the theoretical debate developed, a third group of Chinese economists took the view that it was more feasible to improve land use rights than to change ownership of land. They argued that both approaches, i.
Following modern theory they believed that ownership was, on the contrary, just one of the components of property rights. Other components include the rights to consume, to obtain income from and to alienate assets Barzel, The purpose of property rights is to define interests and obligations among participants sharing an asset.
Without the clarification of property rights, participants could shoulder burdens for others and this could generate problems such as moral hazard and free riders.
According to the theory of property rights, the ownership of land in rural China is clear, but the property rights of farmers are very incomplete. Land is owned by farmers collectively rather than individually, but the land use right is granted to farmers as individuals.
In theory, farmers should have an exclusive use right which should mean the freedom to consume, to obtain income from and to alienate the use right at their will.
Their rights to consume and to obtain income from land are weakened by the State procurement system and distorted prices. Furthermore, farmers are prohibited from transferring their land use rights. These drawbacks, in combination with the problem of frequent land redistribution, lead farmers to feel that they are only nominal owners.
In addition, as land use rights are not tradable, it is difficult for land markets to develop. Thus, the problem of land fragmentation remains highly intractable.
If there is no possibility of changing landownership, there exists, nevertheless, vast scope for improving the land use rights system.
From the above brief review, it is clear that Chinese economists all agree about the need for further clarification of land property rights, but they hold different views on how this should be done.
In the absence of a universally accepted approach, recent land reform initiatives have been guided mainly by the ideas of the third group of economists, which are seen to be less socially and politically risky and more easily accepted by the central government.
Under the principle of adhering to collective ownership of farmland and reforming land use rights, the government has issued a number of policies and measures.
For instance, inhouseholds were allowed to exchange their labour with others and to employ limited amounts of labour for farm work. For the purpose of providing better incentives for soil conservation and investment, leaseholds were extended to 15 years inand then to 30 years in In the late s, rural households engaged in non-farm business were allowed to sublease their land to other villagers in order to prevent land from being left idle.
Meanwhile the central government also encouraged more flexible measures to be carried out at the local level. Experimental land reform models were initiated in selected locations of various provinces in the mid- to late s.
Thus, China is actively pursuing appropriate models to guide further land reforms. The redistribution proved very difficult to prevent because of the fundamental importance of land for subsistence agriculture and for avoiding starvation among the growing population in rural areas. Nevertheless, solutions are being sought with urgency.
Different regions have reacted to their own sets of economic possibilities in a variety of ways, utilizing different organizational forms and development strategies to meet their different needs and priorities.
The government has conducted experimental reforms in selected districts to encourage localities to try different methods.A valid e-mail address.
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Title: The Household Responsibility System in China's Agricultural Reform: A Theoretical and Empirical Study Created Date: Z. InfoAut is a portal of the Italian antagonistic movement that, for ten years, has produced and documented counter-information, analysis, theory and stories of struggle.
The article describes the process of China’s agricultural reform, categorising it into four stages. The first stage, The introduction of the household-responsibility system and the reconstruction of the rural micromanagement body.