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The Welfare Impact of Land Redistribution: Evidence from a Quasi-Experimental Initiative in Malawi

Author

Listed:
  • Mariapia Mendola

    (University of Milan Bicocca, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano and IZA)

  • Franklin Simtowe

    (African Centre for Social research and Economic Development, Nairobi)

Abstract

Even though land reform may be an effective means of reducing poverty, evidence on its causal effects is scant. This paper uses household panel data combined with a quasi-experimental program to assess the impact of a joint Malawi/World Bank land redistribution project on households productivity and well-being in southern Malawi. Double difference and matching methods are used to address sources of bias in identifying impacts. Results point to average positive effects of the land program on land holdings, agricultural output, income, food security and asset ownership of beneficiary households, while the latter do not see an improvement in access to social services such as schools and health care facilities. There is also evidence of heterogeneous effects by gender and inheritance systems. Overall, our findings suggest that there is scope for reducing poverty and inequality in developing countries by implementing a market- and community-based approach to land reform through the provision of land to land-poor households.

Suggested Citation

  • Mariapia Mendola & Franklin Simtowe, 2014. "The Welfare Impact of Land Redistribution: Evidence from a Quasi-Experimental Initiative in Malawi," Development Working Papers 366, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano, revised 07 Apr 2014.
  • Handle: RePEc:csl:devewp:366
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Land Reform; Program Evaluation; Community Based Rural Land Development Program; Malawi;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment

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