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Evaluating the Impact of Land Redistribution: A CGE Microsimulation Application to Zimbabwe

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  • Margaret Chitiga
  • Ramos Mabugu

Abstract

Zimbabwe has recently gone through a widely criticised land reform process. The country has suffered immensely as a result of this badly orchestrated reform process. Yet land reform can potentially increase average incomes, improve income distribution and as a consequence reduce poverty. This paper presents a counterfactual picture of what could have happened had land reform been handled differently. The paper uses a computable general equilibrium (CGE) model coupled with a microsimulation model in order to quantify the impact of land redistribution in terms of poverty, inequality and production. This is to our knowledge the first attempt to apply such an approach to the study of the impact of land reform on poverty and distribution in the context of an African country. The results for the land reform simulations show that the reform could have had the potential of generating substantial reductions in poverty and inequality in the rural areas. The well-off households, however, would have seen a slight reduction in their welfare. What underpins these positive outcomes are the complementary adjustments in the fiscal deficit and external balance, elements that were generally lacking from the way Zimbabwe's land reform was actually executed. These results tend to suggest that well planned and executed land reforms can still play an important role in reducing poverty and inequality. Copyright 2008 The author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Centre for the Study of African Economies. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Margaret Chitiga & Ramos Mabugu, 2008. "Evaluating the Impact of Land Redistribution: A CGE Microsimulation Application to Zimbabwe," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 17(4), pages 527-549, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jafrec:v:17:y:2008:i:4:p:527-549
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    Cited by:

    1. Frank Barry, Patrick Honohan and Tara McIndoe, Trinity College Dublin, 2009. "Postcolonial Ireland And Zimbabwe: Stagnation Before Convergence," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp291, IIIS.
    2. Bangwayo-Skeete, Prosper F. & Bezabih, Mintewab & Zikhali, Precious, 0. "Are Zimbabwe’s Fast Track Land Reform Farms more Technically Efficient than Communal Farms?," Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, vol. 49.
    3. Zikhali, Precious, 2008. "Fast Track Land Reform and Agricultural Productivity in Zimbabwe," Working Papers in Economics 322, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    4. Binjian, Binjian & Sakamoto, Hiroshi, 2013. "Market Reform and Income Distribution in China : A CGE–Microsimulation Approach," AGI Working Paper Series 2013-13, Asian Growth Research Institute.
    5. Li, ShiNa & Blake, Adam & Thomas, Rhodri, 2013. "Modelling the economic impact of sports events: The case of the Beijing Olympics," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 235-244.
    6. Zikhali, Precious, 2008. "Fast Track Land Reform and Agricultural Productivity in Zimbabwe," Discussion Papers dp-08-30-efd, Resources For the Future.
    7. Bezabih, Mintewab & Chambwera, Muyeye & Stage, Jesper, 2010. "Climate Change, Total Factor Productivity, and the Tanzanian Economy: A Computable General Equilibrium Analysis," Discussion Papers dp-10-14-efd, Resources For the Future.
    8. Juana, James S. & Strzepek, Kenneth M. & Kirsten, Johann F., 2008. "Households’ welfare analyses of the impact of global change on water resources in South Africa," Agrekon, Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA), vol. 47(3), September.

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