During Vietnam’s transition from a socialist to a market economy, household’s property rights over agricultural land were considerably strengthened through a land certification program. This resulted in active formal credit and land markets, either of which potentially affects consumption growth and volatility. This article evaluates the program impact with respect to consumption outcomes. In particular, it identities the channel of impact through which improved property rights affect consumption growth and volatility. We find that land certification increases consumption growth, but also consumption volatility. We show that the certification program affects consumption outcomes predominantly through the credit market channel as formal loans are used for (risky) agricultural investment rather than consumption smoothing.