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Land Reform and Productivity: A Quantitative Analysis with Micro Data

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  • Tasso Adamopoulos
  • Diego Restuccia

Abstract

We assess the effects of a major land-policy change on farm size and agricultural productivity using a quantitative model and micro-level data. We study the 1988 land reform in the Philippines that imposed a ceiling on land holdings and severely restricted the transferability of the redistributed farm lands. We study this reform in the context of an industry model of agriculture with a non-degenerate distribution of farm sizes featuring an occupation decision and a technology choice of farm operators. In this model, a land reform reduces agricultural productivity not only by reallocating resources from large/high productivity farms to existing small/low productivity farms (misallocation effect), but also by distorting farmers' occupation and technology adoption decisions (selection effect). The model, calibrated to pre-reform farm-level data in the Philippines, implies that on impact the land reform reduces average farm size by 34 percent and agricultural productivity by 17 percent. The government assignment of land and the ban on its transfer are key for the magnitude of the results since a market allocation of the above-ceiling land produces only 1/3 of the size and productivity effects. These results emphasize the potential role of land market efficiency for misallocation and productivity in the agricultural sector.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Toronto, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number tecipa-509.

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Length: Unknown pages
Date of creation: 04 Apr 2014
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Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-509

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Keywords: agriculture; misallocation; within-farm productivity; land reform.;

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  1. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Peter J. Klenow, 2009. "Misallocation and Manufacturing TFP in China and India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1403-1448, November.
  2. Tasso Adamopoulos, 2006. "Transportation Costs, Agricultural Productivity and Cross-Country Income Differences," 2006 Meeting Papers 663, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Mariapia Mendola & Franklin Simtowe, 2013. "The Welfare Impact of Land Redistribution: Evidence from a Quasi-Experimental Initiative in Malawi," Working Papers 227, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Feb 2013.
  4. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Paul J. Gertler & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2002. "Empowerment and Efficiency: Tenancy Reform in West Bengal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 239-280, April.
  5. Nezih Guner & Gustavo Ventura & Xu Yi, 2008. "Macroeconomic Implications of Size-Dependent Policies," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(4), pages 721-744, October.
  6. Diego Restuccia & Dennis Tao Yang & Xiaodong Zhu, 2003. "Agriculture and Aggregate Productivity: A Quantitative Cross-Country Analysis," Working Papers diegor-03-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  7. Tasso Adamopoulos, 2008. "Land Inequality and the Transition to Modern Growth," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(2), pages 257-282, April.
  8. Adriano, Lourdes S., 1991. "A General Assessment of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program," Working Papers WP 1991-13, Philippine Institute for Development Studies.
  9. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 1978. "On the Size Distribution of Business Firms," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 508-523, Autumn.
  10. David Lagakos & Michael E. Waugh, 2013. "Selection, Agriculture, and Cross-Country Productivity Differences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(2), pages 948-80, April.
  11. Michael Maio & James Schmitz & Arilton Teixeira & Benjamin Bridgman, 2011. "Why Has Puerto Rico Performed So Poorly? Lessons from its Sugar Manufacturing Industry," 2011 Meeting Papers 1048, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  12. Carter, Michael R, 1984. "Identification of the Inverse Relationship between Farm Size and Productivity: An Empirical Analysis of Peasant Agricultural Production," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(1), pages 131-45, March.
  13. Pranab Bardhan & Dilip Mookherjee, 2007. "Land Reform And Farm Productivity In West Bengal," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-163, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  14. Todd Schoellman & Berthold Herrendorf, 2012. "Why is Measured Productivity so Low in Agriculture?," 2012 Meeting Papers 75, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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Cited by:
  1. Chaoran Chen, 2014. "Untitled Land, Occupational Choice, and Agricultural Productivity," Working Papers tecipa-513, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.

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