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Links between Tenure Security and Food Security: Evidence from Ethiopia

  • Ghebru, Hosaena

    ()

    (International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, DC)

  • Holden, Stein

    ()

    (Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences)

The study uses five rounds of household panel data from Tigray, Ethiopia, collected in the period 1998–2010 to assess the impacts of a land registration and certification program that aimed to strengthen tenure security and how it has contributed to increased food availability and thus food security in this food-deficit region. Our first survey took place just a year before the intervention (the land certification program). Our panel data in combination with the “years of certificate ownership” variable allow us to assess the dynamic impacts on food (calorie) availability of strengthened tenure security. Anthropometric data also allow us to assess potential child nutrition impacts of the reform 8-12 years after its implementation. Results show that land certification appears to have contributed to enhanced calorie availability (calorie intake), and more so for female-headed households, either through enhanced land rental market participation or increased investment and productivity on owner-operated land. Results also show that members of households that accessed additional land through the land rental market had a significantly higher body mass index. Though results show that land rental market participation is enhancing production efficiency, high transaction costs in that market suggest there are still unrealized gains from trade. Thus, the recent restrictive regional land law that allows for only short-term rental contracts and does not allow more than 50 percent of land to be rented out may threaten future tenure security and may undermine the benefits from the existing tenure reform.

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Paper provided by Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences in its series CLTS Working Papers with number 2/13.

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Length: 72 pages
Date of creation: 01 Apr 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:nlsclt:2013_002
Contact details of provider: Postal: Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, P.O. Box 5003, NO-1432 Aas, Norway
Phone: (+47) 6496 5700
Fax: (+47) 6494 3012
Web page: http://www.umb.no/clts

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  1. Alchian, Armen A. & Demsetz, Harold, 1973. "The Property Right Paradigm," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 33(01), pages 16-27, March.
  2. Holden, Stein & Barrett, Christopher B. & Hagos, Fitsum, 2006. "Food-for-work for poverty reduction and the promotion of sustainable land use: can it work?," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(01), pages 15-38, February.
  3. Lanjouw, J.O. & Levy, P.I., 1998. "Untitled: A Study of Formal and Informal Property Rights in Urban Ecuador," Papers 788, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  4. Holden, Stein & Yohannes, Hailu, 2001. "Land redistribution, tenure insecurity, and intensity of production: a study of farm households in southern Ethiopia," CAPRi working papers 21, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  5. Brasselle, Anne-Sophie & Gaspart, Frederic & Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 2002. "Land tenure security and investment incentives: puzzling evidence from Burkina Faso," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 373-418, April.
  6. Bezu, Sosina & Holden, Stein, 2008. "Can food-for-work encourage agricultural production?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 541-549, December.
  7. Gebremedhin, Berhanu & Swinton, Scott M., 2002. "Investment In Soil Conservation In Northern Ethiopia: The Role Of Land Tenure Security And Public Programs," Staff Papers 11749, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  8. Deininger, Klaus & Castagnini, Raffaella, 2006. "Incidence and impact of land conflict in Uganda," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 321-345, July.
  9. Hanan G. Jacoby & Bart Minten, 2007. "Is Land Titling in Sub-Saharan Africa Cost-Effective? Evidence from Madagascar," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 21(3), pages 461-485, June.
  10. Joseph Hayes & Michael Roth & Lydia Zepeda, 1997. "Tenure Security, Investment and Productivity in Gambian Agriculture: A Generalized Probit Analysis," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(2), pages 369-382.
  11. Pinckney, Thomas C & Kimuyu, Peter K, 1994. "Land Tenure Reform in East Africa: Good, Bad or Unimportant?," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 3(1), pages 1-28, April.
  12. Deininger, Klaus & Ali, Daniel Ayalew & Holden, Stein & Zevenbergen, Jaap, 2007. "Rural land certification in Ethiopia : process, initial impact, and implications for other African countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4218, The World Bank.
  13. Ravallion, Martin & Bidani, Benu, 1994. "How Robust Is a Poverty Profile?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 8(1), pages 75-102, January.
  14. Holden, Stein T. & Shiferaw, Bekele & Wik, Mette, 1998. "Poverty, market imperfections and time preferences: of relevance for environmental policy?," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(01), pages 105-130, February.
  15. Quy-Toan Do & Lakshmi Iyer, 2003. "Land rights and economic development : evidence from Vietnam," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3120, The World Bank.
  16. Gebrehaweria Gebregziabher & Stein T. Holden, 2011. "Distress rentals and the land rental market as a safety net: contract choice evidence from Tigray, Ethiopia," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 42, pages 45-60, November.
  17. Maxwell, Daniel G. & Wiebe, Keith D., 1998. "Land Tenure And Food Security: A Review Of Concepts, Evidence, And Methods," Research Papers 12752, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Land Tenure Center.
  18. 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 903-37, October.
  19. Holden, Stein T. & Ghebru, Hosaena, 2011. "Household Welfare Effects of Low-cost Land Certification in Ethiopia," CLTS Working Papers 3/11, Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences.
  20. Aryal, Jeetendra P. & Holden, Stein T., 2011. "Caste Discrimination, Land Reforms and Land Market Performance in Nepal," CLTS Working Papers 1/11, Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences.
  21. Holden, Stein T. & Deininger, Klaus W. & Ghebru, Hosaena H., 2009. "Gender, Low-cost Land Certification, and Land Rental Market Participation," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 51575, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  22. Holden, Stein & Shiferaw, Bekele & Pender, John L., 2001. "Market imperfections and land productivity in the Ethiopian Highlands:," EPTD discussion papers 76, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  23. Shiferaw, Bekele & Holden, Stein T., 1998. "Resource degradation and adoption of land conservation technologies 1n the Ethiopian Highlands: A case study in Andit Tid, North Shewa," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 18(3), May.
  24. 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 135-53, January.
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