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Research

Land Market Institutions in Transition Economies
Professor Annette M. Kim

Transition countries in Europe and Asia have been engaged in wholesale reform of their economic systems in order to promote markets for investment and growth. Although similar strategies were pursued in a variety of countries with different institutional contexts, the outcomes have been decidedly mixed.

Professors Kim's research projects explore the relationship between institutions and economic actors. She has built case studies of the first generation of land developer entrepreneurs and firms in newly emerged private real estate markets in transition countries such as China, Vietnam, Poland, and Romania. Although basic property rights and finance are necessary, she finds that a variety of other institutional factors are key to understanding why some firms and markets grow faster than others. These include the relationships firms can form with local government in a particular political and social framework and the way society is structured to disseminate new ideas and information. The findings of this project are published in Learning to be Capitalists: Entrepreneurs in Vietnam's Transition Economy (Oxford, 2008).

This project has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, the University of California, the William Davidson Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the World Bank, and the Fulbright Commission.