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Land Inequality and Economic Growth: A Dynamic Panel Data Approach


  • Fort, Ricardo
  • Ruben, Ruerd


The growing body of literature devoted to study the impact of inequality on economic growth have centred its attention in the income distribution effect, even though the theoretical relationships are more related to assets distributions than to income distribution. While some recent studies have tried to overcome this limitation by introducing indicators of this type, they found a new constraint when dealing only with time-invariant measurements for this explanatory variable. This article provides a theoretical discussion and some novel empirical tests to better understand the relationships between assets distribution and economic growth. We assembled a new panel database that includes observations for more than 30 countries over the last three decades. The data include a time-varying variable for changes in the Land Gini index over this period that enables to overcome the limitations of previous studies that only included time-invariant measurement. A system GMM estimator is used to generate truly unbiased and consistent regression estimates. We explore some of the likely channels through which asset distribution and economic growth may be linked, paying particular attention to the role of secure property rights and the relations between land ownership and education. We find robust and significant negative signs for land inequality in the growth regressions, indicating that changes in asset distribution are an important factor for economic development.

Suggested Citation

  • Fort, Ricardo & Ruben, Ruerd, 2006. "Land Inequality and Economic Growth: A Dynamic Panel Data Approach," 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia 25582, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae06:25582

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Kalkuhl, Matthias & Fernandez Milan, Blanca & Schwerhoff, Gregor & Jakob, Michael & Hahnen, Maren & Creutzig, Felix, 2017. "Fiscal Instruments for Sustainable Development: The Case of Land Taxes," MPRA Paper 78652, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Ece Guleryuz, 2016. "Determinants of the Contemporary Inequality among MENA and African Countries: What are in the variation of Land and Natural Resource ownership?," EcoMod2016 9317, EcoMod.
    3. repec:ejn:ejefjr:v:5:y:2017:i:4:p:76-84 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    land inequality; economic growth; investments; system GMM estimation; International Development; Land Economics/Use; Q15; C23; I3;

    JEL classification:

    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty


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