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Dimensions of Land Inequality and Economic Development

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  • Lennart Erickson
  • Dietrich Vollrath

Abstract

There are several theories linking land inequality with aspects of economic development. Empirical work on these theories has attempted to establish a relationship between land inequality and institutions, financial development, and education. This research, though, has relied on measures of land inequality that capture only inequality within the class of landholders, ignoring completely the issue of landlessness. This omission raises suspicion about the usefulness of those empirical results. We use a new measure of the breadth of landholdings across the agricultural population to address this issue. We test the proposed relationships regarding land inequality and development using the new measure. The regressions fail to find significant and robust relationships between land inequality of either type and institutions or financial development. We do find that lower land inequality across agricultural populations, but not inequality within the landholding class, is associated with greater public provision of education.

Suggested Citation

  • Lennart Erickson & Dietrich Vollrath, 2004. "Dimensions of Land Inequality and Economic Development," IMF Working Papers 04/158, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:04/158
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    1. Galor, Oded & Moav, Omer & Vollrath, Dietrich, 2003. "Land Inequality and the Origin of Divergence and Overtaking in the Growth Process: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 3817, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
    3. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1998. "New ways of looking at old issues: inequality and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 259-287.
    4. Ross Levine, 1997. "Financial Development and Economic Growth: Views and Agenda," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(2), pages 688-726, June.
    5. Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 1999. "Aggregating governance indicators," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2195, The World Bank.
    6. Satyajit Chatterjee, 1991. "The effect of transitional dynamics on the distribution of wealth in a neoclassical capital accumulation model," Working Papers 91-22, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    7. Tsiddon, Daniel, 1992. "A Moral Hazard Trap to Growth," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 33(2), pages 299-321, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ece Guleryuz, 2016. "Determinants of the Contemporary Inequality among MENA and African Countries: What are in the variation of Land and Natural Resource ownership?," EcoMod2016 9317, EcoMod.
    2. Klump, Rainer & Prüfer, Patricia, 2005. "How to prioritise policies for poverty reduction: Applying Bayesian Model Averaging to Vietnam," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Kiel 2005 27, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
    3. Savoia, Antonio & Easaw, Joshy & McKay, Andrew, 2010. "Inequality, Democracy, and Institutions: A Critical Review of Recent Research," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 142-154, February.
    4. Mourmouras, Alexandros & Rangazas, Peter, 2009. "Fiscal Policy And Economic Development," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, pages 450-476.
    5. Dietrich Vollrath & Lennart Erickson, 2007. "Land Distribution and Financial System Development," IMF Working Papers 07/83, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Vivien Kappel, 2010. "The Effects of Financial Development on Income Inequality and Poverty," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 10/127, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
    7. UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa, "undated". "Agriculture, Rural Poverty and Income Inequality in sub-Saharan Africa," UNDP Africa Policy Notes 2017-05, United Nations Development Programme, Regional Bureau for Africa.
    8. World Bank, 2009. "Kenya - Poverty and Inequality Assessment : Executive Summary and Synthesis Report," World Bank Other Operational Studies 3081, The World Bank.

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