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Ownership of land by those who do not live on it but who enjoy income from it. Criticized for centuries as an economic injustice, absentee ownership was a feature of pre-Revolutionary France and English rule of Ireland. Ending the practice continues to be a goal of land reform programs in many developing countries.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on absentee ownership, visit Britannica.com.