Levels of analysis

“[W]hen analyzing an institution it is important to distinguish the level about which one aims to make an interpretation (…). The perception of informal, communal land-based institutions as a credible institutional arrangement can differ per city and per village. This could imply that land performs different functions at the aggregate village and city level, varying from social welfare in agriculture-dependent locations to a commodity in service- and industry-dependent locations.However, taken to a higher aggregate level (e.g. the national level), it may turn out that in the majority of locations such institutions are perceived as credible. This might lead to the conclusion that also at a higher aggregate level informal, communal institutions perform a function in contrast to titled and privatized institutions. That conclusion, in turn, may hold important implications for which development intervention is going to work.” See: P. Ho, “An Endogenous Theory of Property Rights”, Journal of Peasant Studies, 2016, 43/6, p. 1132.

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