This paper is part of a collection of five policy briefs was commissioned by the World Bank for the 2009 World Development Report Reshaping Economic Geography. Through relocation policies, the Government of Lao PDR seeks to transform what it considers to be a traditional, rural economy into a modernised market-oriented system by eradicating shifting cultivation, changing the way that land is allocated and by reaching communities. It intends for this to take place alongside providing improved access to roads, markets and government services and promoting new opportunities, including plantation based cash crop production ( Bechstedt et al. 2007). This policy brief focuses on these relocation policies and their apparent results.
All five policy briefs seek to explore how a range of policy instruments might influence spatial differentiation within countries. The policy briefs explore different policy instruments and issues, but all have three common objectives. First, to explore the spatial disparity that motivated the policy response; second, to outline the policy instrument; and third, to examine the impact of the policy.