Transfer of development rights, farmland preservation, and economic growth: a case study of Chongqing’s land quotas trading program | Land Portal

Resource information

Date of publication: 
June 2020
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 

The dilemma between preserving farmland and urbanization has attracted many policymakers’ attention. One sound solution that has been practiced in several developed countries is the “transfer of development rights” (TDR). This study examines a specific TDR program in China—the Chongqing Land Quotas Trading program. We use a synthetic control method on the 2001–2014 statistics of 57 prefectures to quantitatively assess the program’s effect on farmland preservation and economic growth. A mixed method, including both satellite image analysis and qualitative interviews, was also used to obtain some intuitive evidence to understand the mechanism of this program. We find that the Chongqing TDR program has substantially reduced the loss of farmland and played a significant role in stimulating economic growth. We argue that the use of TDR might effectively address the farmland preservation and urbanization dilemma in China.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Wang, Bo
Li, Fan
Feng, Shuyi
Shen, Tong


Land Use Policy is an international and interdisciplinary journal concerned with the social, economic, political, legal, physical and planning aspects of urban and rural land use. It provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and information from the diverse range of disciplines and interest groups which must be combined to formulate effective land use policies.

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