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Rural Demography, Public Services and Land Rights in Africa: A Village-Level Analysis in Burkina Faso

  • Margaret S. McMillan
  • William A. Masters
  • Harounan Kazianga

This paper uses historical census data from Burkina Faso to characterize local demographic pressures associated with internal migration into river valleys after Onchocerciasis eradication, combined with a new survey of village elders to document change over time and differences across villages in local public goods provision, market institutions and land use rights. We hypothesize that higher local population densities are associated with more public goods and a transition from open-access to regulated land use. Controlling for province or village fixed effects, we find that villages' variance in population associated with proximity to rivers is closely correlated with higher levels of infrastructure, markets and individual land rights, as opposed to familial or communal rights. Responding to population growth with both improved public services and private property rights is consistent with both scale effects in public good provision, and changes in the scarcity of land.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17718.

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Date of creation: Dec 2011
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Publication status: published as "Disease Control, Demographic Change and Institutional Development in Africa," forthcoming Journal of Development Economics (with Harounan Kazianga and William Masters)
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17718
Note: HE PE
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  1. Grimm, Michael & Klasen, Stephan, 2008. "Geography vs. Institutions at the Village Level," IZA Discussion Papers 3391, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. 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.
  3. Esther Duflo & Raghabendra Chattopadhyay, 2004. "Women as policy makers: Evidence from a randomized policy experiment in india," Framed Field Experiments 00224, The Field Experiments Website.
  4. repec:got:cegedp:70 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. William A. Masters & Margaret S. McMillan, 2000. "Climate and Scale In Economic Growth," CID Working Papers 48, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
  6. Margaret S. McMillan & William A. Masters, 2003. "An African Growth Trap: Production Technology and the Time-Consistency of Agricultural Taxation, R&D and Investment," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(2), pages 179-191, 05.
  7. David E. Bloom & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 1997. "Demographic Transitions and Economic Miracles in Emerging Asia," NBER Working Papers 6268, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Chambers, Robert, 1994. "The origins and practice of participatory rural appraisal," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(7), pages 953-969, July.
  9. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson, 2007. "Disease and Development: The Effect of Life Expectancy on Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(6), pages 925-985, December.
  10. Hoyt Bleakley, 2007. "Disease and Development: Evidence from Hookworm Eradication in the American South," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(1), pages 73-117, 02.
  11. Olmstead, Alan L & Rhode, Paul, 1993. "Induced Innovation in American Agriculture: A Reconsideration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(1), pages 100-118, February.
  12. David Cutler & Winnie Fung & Michael Kremer & Monica Singhal & Tom Vogl, 2010. "Early-Life Malaria Exposure and Adult Outcomes: Evidence from Malaria Eradication in India," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 72-94, April.
  13. Kazianga, Harounan & Masters, William A., 2002. "Investing in soils: field bunds and microcatchments in Burkina Faso," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(03), pages 571-591, July.
  14. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Scholarly Articles 4553005, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  15. Harounan Kazianga & William A. Masters, 2006. "Property rights, production technology, and deforestation: cocoa in Cameroon," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 35(1), pages 19-26, 07.
  16. Rémi Jedwab & Alexandre Moradi, 2011. "Transportation Infrastructure and Development in Ghana," PSE Working Papers halshs-00607207, HAL.
  17. Imbens, Guido W & Angrist, Joshua D, 1994. "Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 467-75, March.
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