Land Tenure and Productivity

Program Code: 
Description of Work: 

Contact: Prof Satish Chand (



This project assesses the impact of land tenure system on the level of investments, access to credit, and productivity at the level of an enterprise.


Description of work:

There are strong theoretical reasons to believe that security of property rights to land will impact on the level of effort and investments expanded by an entrepreneur. This proposition is expected to hold across market and mixed economies.

This research project is aimed at exploring the impact of the various land tenure regimes on the levels of investment, access to credit, and productivity. The empirical analysis done to date has drawn on data from the smallholder sector in Papua New Guinea and the Peoples Republic of China.

The project on Papua New Guinea collected data to test the impact of land reform on investment in the smallholder oil palm sector in New Britain province, and in urban housing in Port Moresby. Ongoing research in China is focused on assessing the impact of land registration on rural-urban migration, investment, household income, and productivity. 



The PhD scholar will examine the impact of changes to land tenure regime on the levels of investment and productivity within their home country.

The research methodology to be employed will include the conduct of purpose designed surveys to collect the primary data for subsequent analysis. The collected data will be analysed using econometric techniques.

Much of the methodology for this research has been tested and is being refined as part of an ongoing research.



We expect the prospective candidate(s) to have successfully completed courses in econometrics and economics at the undergraduate-honours level.  UNSW scholarships are available to prospective students on a competitive basis.

The student will spend one semester doing post-graduate level coursework in quantitative research techniques within the School of Business. During this time, the student will also review the literature and refine his/her research question. The student will spend a semester collecting data in the field after having secured approval from the Human Research Ethics Committee of the University. Analysis of the collected data and thesis writing will extend over the remaining two years.


Supervisory support:

Professor Satish Chand ( will provide primary supervision.