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Abstract

Insufficient access to assets is the main determinant of poverty. We analyze the role of access to assets in explaining household labor allocation strategies, sources of income, levels of income achieved, and poverty headcount ratios among classes of Mexican rural households. To assess the gains from asset redistribution, we both measure the direct income effects from redistribution and simulate the general equilibrium effects of redistribution in a computable non-separable household model. Results show that land redistribution allows to achieve both equity and efficiency gains. However, there are economies of scale in self-employment in microenterprise, human capital assets for labor market participation, and social capital for international migration, implying conflicts between equity gains and social efficiency in redistributing these assets towards those with lower endowments.

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