Going, Going, Gone! The Four Wastelands Auction Policy

Peter Ho

in Institutions in Transition

Published in print June 2005 | ISBN: 9780199280698
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602528 | DOI:

Series: Studies on Contemporary China

Going, Going, Gone! The Four Wastelands Auction Policy

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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

Chapter.  16796 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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