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The Profits of Power: Land Rights and Agricultural Investment in Ghana

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  • Goldstein, Markus
  • Udry, Christopher R.

Abstract

We examine the impact of ambiguous and contested land rights on investment and productivity in agricultural in Akwapim, Ghana. We show that individuals who hold powerful positions in a local political hierarchy have more secure tenure rights, and that as a consequence they invest more in land fertility and have substantially higher output. The intensity of investments on different plots cultivated by a given individual correspond to that individual's security of tenure over those specific plots, and in turn to the individual's position in the political hierarchy relevant to those specific plots. We interpret these results in the context of a simple model of the political allocation of land rights in local matrilineages.

Suggested Citation

  • Goldstein, Markus & Udry, Christopher R., 2005. "The Profits of Power: Land Rights and Agricultural Investment in Ghana," Center Discussion Papers 28479, Yale University, Economic Growth Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:yaleeg:28479
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.28479
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Land Economics/Use;

    JEL classification:

    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • P48 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies

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