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Farmland Investments in Africa: What’s the Deal?

Author

Listed:
  • Luca Di Corato

    (Department of Economics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden)

  • Sebastian Hess

    (Department of Economics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden)

Abstract

Large-scale foreign investments in African farmland are rising and may contribute to agricultural productivity growth and economic development. However, host countries sometimes have to wait longer for the economic benefits to arrive than initially expected. In this respect, the timing of project development is crucial and depends on the economic incentives provided to the investors. We therefore present a dynamic stochastic programming model that reflects the typical bargaining situation concerning large land deals in Africa and allows the effect of market- and country-specific risks and taxation to be assessed. The model shows that commodity price volatility increases the value of the land development option, but slows down the land development process. Furthermore, it shows that host country attempts to negotiate fixed commitments to the speed of project development may run counter to the structure of economic incentives at the project site. The applicability of the model is demonstrated for a recent 10,000-hectare cotton project in Ethiopia. Response surface estimations suggest that Ethiopia has negotiated a contract under which it will receive about half the expected total project value, as long as it levies the regular corporate tax rate.

Suggested Citation

  • Luca Di Corato & Sebastian Hess, 2014. "Farmland Investments in Africa: What’s the Deal?," Working Papers 2014.23, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2014.23
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Di Corato, Luca, 2013. "Profit sharing under the threat of nationalization," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 295-315.
    2. Capozza, Dennis & Li, Yuming, 1994. "The Intensity and Timing of Investment: The Case of Land," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 889-904, September.
    3. Collier Paul & Venables Anthony J., 2012. "Land Deals in Africa: Pioneers and Speculators," Journal of Globalization and Development, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-22, June.
    4. Nash, John, 1950. "The Bargaining Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 18(2), pages 155-162, April.
    5. Schatzki, Todd, 2003. "Options, uncertainty and sunk costs:: an empirical analysis of land use change," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 86-105, July.
    6. Sarkar, Sudipto, 2012. "Attracting private investment: Tax reduction, investment subsidy, or both?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 1780-1785.
    7. Klaus Deininger & Derek Byerlee & Jonathan Lindsay & Andrew Norton & Harris Selod & Mercedes Stickler, 2011. "Rising Global Interest in Farmland : Can it Yield Sustainable and Equitable Benefits?," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2263.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Foreign Direct Investment; Land Leasing; Real Options; Nash Bargaining;

    JEL classification:

    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • Q24 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Land

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