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Network Effects and Land Redistribution: A Natural Experiment in Zimbabwe


  • Tara McIndoe-Calder

    () (Institute for International Integration Studies, Trinity College Dublin)


The paper investigates whether positive network effects may have existed between large-scale commercial farmers and small-scale communal farmers prior to the recent land redistribution in Zimbabwe. A difference-in-difference approach is used where measurement is carried out using several data sources including farm level, geographic and survey information for cotton farmers in Mashonaland Central. It tests whether the removal of large-scale farmers has resulted in a decline in productivity for those small-scale farmers close to redistributed land as compared to those located at greater distances from large-scale/commercial farms. A significant negative productivity effect is found in addition to a country-wide negative redistribution effect. The latter is most likely due to wider economic and political instability over the last 10 years.

Suggested Citation

  • Tara McIndoe-Calder, 2011. "Network Effects and Land Redistribution: A Natural Experiment in Zimbabwe," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp352, IIIS.
  • Handle: RePEc:iis:dispap:iiisdp352

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Barr, Abigail & Dekker, Marleen & Fafchamps, Marcel, 2012. "Bridging the Gender Divide: An Experimental Analysis of Group Formation in African Villages," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(10), pages 2063-2077.
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    6. Poulton, Colin & Gibbon, Peter & Hanyani-Mlambo, Benjamine & Kydd, Jonathan & Maro, Wilbald & Larsen, Marianne Nylandsted & Osorio, Afonso & Tschirley, David & Zulu, Ballard, 2004. "Competition and Coordination in Liberalized African Cotton Market Systems," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 519-536, March.
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    More about this item


    Land redistribution; network effects; cotton farming; agricultural productivity; Zimbabwe;

    JEL classification:

    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • N57 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Africa; Oceania


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