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Smallholders and land tenure in Ghana: Aligning context, empirics, and policy:

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  • Lambrecht, Isabel
  • Asare, Sarah

Abstract

For decades, policymakers and development practitioners have debated benefits and threats of property rights formalization and private versus customary tenure systems. This paper provides insights into the challenges in understanding and empirically analyzing the relationship between tenure systems and agricultural investment, and formulates policy advice that can support land tenure interventions. We focus on Ghana, based on extensive qualitative fieldwork and a review of empirical research and policy documents. Comparing research findings is challenging due to the use of different indicators, the varying contexts, and the diversity of investments. The interaction between land rights and investment make establishing causality extremely difficult. Setting policy priorities and strategies requires more and better insights into the diverse responses of different stakeholders and the tenure and cropping systems involved.

Suggested Citation

  • Lambrecht, Isabel & Asare, Sarah, 2015. "Smallholders and land tenure in Ghana: Aligning context, empirics, and policy:," IFPRI discussion papers 1492, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:1492
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Eliana La Ferrara & Annamaria Milazzo, 2017. "Customary Norms, Inheritance, and Human Capital: Evidence from a Reform of the Matrilineal System in Ghana," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 166-185, October.
    2. George Christoffel Schoneveld & Laura German, 2014. "Translating Legal Rights into Tenure Security: Lessons from the New Commercial Pressures on Land in Ghana," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(2), pages 187-203, February.
    3. Deininger, Klaus & Hilhorst, Thea & Songwe, Vera, 2014. "Identifying and addressing land governance constraints to support intensification and land market operation: Evidence from 10 African countries," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 76-87.
    4. Fenske, James, 2011. "Land tenure and investment incentives: Evidence from West Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(2), pages 137-156, July.
    5. Chris D. Arnot & Martin K. Luckert & Peter C. Boxall, 2011. "What Is Tenure Security? Conceptual Implications for Empirical Analysis," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 87(2), pages 297-311.
    6. Sjaastad, Espen & Bromley, Daniel W., 1997. "Indigenous land rights in sub-Saharan Africa: Appropriation, security and investment demand," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 549-562, January.
    7. J. A. Bakang & C. J. Garforth, 1998. "Property rights and renewable natural resources degradation in North-Western Ghana," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(4), pages 501-514.
    8. Edward Kutsoati & Randall Morck, 2014. "Family Ties, Inheritance Rights, and Successful Poverty Alleviation: Evidence from Ghana," NBER Chapters, in: African Successes, Volume II: Human Capital, pages 215-252, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    10. Frank Place & Peter Hazell, 1993. "Productivity Effects of Indigenous Land Tenure Systems in Sub-Saharan Africa," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 75(1), pages 10-19.
    11. Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela & Knox, Anna & Place, Frank & Swallow, Brent M. (ed.), 2002. "Innovation in natural resource management: The role of property rights and collective action in developing countries," IFPRI books, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), number 0-8018-7143-3, September.
    12. Feder, Gershon & Feeny, David, 1991. "Land Tenure and Property Rights: Theory and Implications for Development Policy," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 5(1), pages 135-153, January.
    13. Abdulai, Awudu & Owusu, Victor & Goetz, Renan, 2011. "Land tenure differences and investment in land improvement measures: Theoretical and empirical analyses," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 66-78, September.
    14. Besley, Timothy, 1995. "Property Rights and Investment Incentives: Theory and Evidence from Ghana," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 903-937, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lambrecht, Isabel, 2016. "“As a husband I will love, lead, and provide:†Gendered access to land in Ghana:," IFPRI discussion papers 1514, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Ghebru, Hosaena & Khan, Huma & Lambrecht, Isabel, 2016. "Perceived land tenure security and rural transformation: Empirical evidence from Ghana:," IFPRI discussion papers 1545, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Houssou, Nazaire & Kolavalli, Shashidhara & Silver, Jed, 2016. "Agricultural intensification, technology adoption, and institutions in Ghana," GSSP policy notes 10, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    land rights; land tenure; land markets; customary land rights; smallholders; property rights;

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