Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Resource Economics


Governing Farmland Conversion in the Quest for Sustainability: A comparative study of China and Germany

Start: 03/2008
End: 03/2011

Converting farmland from agricultural production to urban use, for example by establishing settlement or commercial areas, is a transaction process which involves transformation of land in its physical form, as a bundle of rights and duties, and in terms of material and symbolic values embodied in the social construction of land. Appropriate governance of farmland conversion is important for the sustainable use of land both in the urban sector and the rural sector. The aim of this project is to assess and compare the performance and sustainability of institutions and governance structures for farmland conversion in China and Germany, which are quite different as regards their positions on the continuum from markets to hierarchies used in Transaction Cost Economics (TCE). The collaboration between Chinese and German partners serves to exchange practical experience regarding the political and administrative processes of land conversion. In particular, it analyses the theoretical appropriateness of, and empirical evidence for, the applicability of New Institutional Economics (NIE), especially TCE, for the analysis of political allocation and public administration of land resources.

Lead: Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Konrad Hagedorn
Dr. Volker Beckmann

Funding: Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH