Property Rights, Land Values and Urban Development
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Property Rights, Land Values and Urban Development

Betterment and Compensation in China

Li Tian

This book presents an analysis of betterment and compensation issues under the Land Use Rights (LURs) System in China since 1988. The topic originates from the observation of widening inequity and increasing uncertainty associated with the failure of government to adequately address betterment and compensation issues. An analytical framework of institutions and property rights is employed to examine socio-economic impacts under the LURs system, in particular, the role of the state is analyzed to explore the effects of government intervention in land markets.
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Chapter 7: Assessing and addressing betterment and compensation in Guangzhou: empirical evidence

Li Tian


In China, constrained by the lack of accurate and adequate data, the evaluation of betterment and worsenment is very difficult either at the municipal level or at the project level. This chapter seeks to fill this gap by adopting a case study approach at two levels: municipal level and project level. The adoption of this two-level case study approach is based on the different activities of the main stakeholders – the government, the developer and the individual – in betterment and compensation schemes. To elaborate, the municipal government is responsible for providing public facilities, and charging fees and taxes for using public facilities. However, it is not possible to allocate the government’s costs in an individual project. Therefore, it is easier to identify the costs and financial benefits of government at the municipal level rather than at the project level. At the project level, the quantification of betterment and worsenment can be easier than that at the municipal level, and some assessment methods, such as repeat-sales and hedonic regression, have been developed over the last few decades to identify impacts of government actions, for example, the construction of infrastructure facilities on the real estate market.

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