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land reform

Workers Unite: Cooperative Property Rights and Development in El Salvador - Guest post by Eduardo Montero

This is the eleventh entry in this year's job market series. You can read the previous entries here.

"On March 5th, we went to sleep as poor colonos [laborers]. On March 6th, we woke up rich, as landholders."  –Cooperative Member, La Maroma Cooperative, 2017

Cooperative Property Rights in Latin America

Latin America has high levels of land inequality. In fact, land inequality is frequently cited as a key driver of Latin America’s comparative underdevelopment. In response to these high levels of inequality, over half of Latin American countries have attempted land reform programs to transform haciendas, in which an owner contracts laborers to work on the land, into agricultural cooperatives, in which workers jointly own and manage production. The figure below illustrates the Latin American countries that have attempted a land reform since the 1920s.