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Land Property Rights and Agricultural Investment in the Philippines: Experimental Evidence on Impacts and Mechanisms
Last registered on February 06, 2014


Trial Information
General Information
Land Property Rights and Agricultural Investment in the Philippines: Experimental Evidence on Impacts and Mechanisms
Initial registration date
Not yet registered
Last updated
February 06, 2014 11:06 PM EST
Primary Investigator
University of Maryland, College Park
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
This study investigates the impact of formal property rights on agricultural investment and the channels – access to credit, tenure security, and gains from trade – through which this effect may occur. The research question will be tested within the context of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) in the Philippines, where collective titles have been issued to groups of farmers as a transition mechanism to hasten the land acquisition and distribution process. The government is now subdividing these collectively titled lands to formalize individual property rights (referred hereafter as parcelization), and the study will exploit this program to conduct a cluster-randomized controlled trial (randomizing collective titles into treatment and control groups) with the goal of understanding the impact of rights on investment and the degree to which the lack of formal rights limits financial market development.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Gunnsteinsson, Snaebjorn. 2014. "Land Property Rights and Agricultural Investment in the Philippines: Experimental Evidence on Impacts and Mechanisms." AEA RCT Registry. February 06. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.168-2.0.
Experimental Details
The intervention being evaluated is the parcelization program described in the abstract. The Department of Agrarian Reform is subdividing land that is collectively titled by conducting land surveys and issuing individual titles to those farmers previously listed under the collective title. Note that although land may be collectively titled, a distinction must be made between farm ownership and management: most of the farms under these titles are farmed individually, not collectively.

Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
agricultural investment, output, profit, and welfare
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The heart of the evaluation design is a cluster-randomized controlled trial that randomly selects collective titles to be subdivided, or "parceled out". The control group will not be parcelized for at least two years of the evaluation, allowing sufficient time for farmers to make significant agricultural investment decisions before a follow-up survey is conducted.
Experimental Design Details
We will collect data on farmers' parcels whether they are inside the subdivided area or not. This will help us at follow-up to distinguish between different mechanisms behind investment by comparing 'outside' parcels (outside of the subdivided area) of farmers in the treatment and control groups. These are not affected by new sets of property rights we may detect investment changes due to increased access to capital or other types of spillover effects from getting property rights over land inside the subdivided area.
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Collective land titles
Was the treatment clustered?
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
500 collective titles
Sample size: planned number of observations
2800 farmers
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
250 treatment collective titles, 250 control collective titles
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB Name
University of Maryland, College Park
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Is the intervention completed?
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers