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Land Misallocation and Productivity

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  • Diego Restuccia
  • Raul Santaeulalia-Llopis

Abstract

Using detailed household-level data from Malawi on physical quantities of outputs and inputs in agricultural production, we measure total factor productivity (TFP) for farms controlling for land quality, rain, and other transitory shocks. We find that operated land size and capital are essentially unrelated to farm TFP implying substantial factor misallocation. The aggregate agricultural output gain from a reallocation of factors to their efficient use among existing farmers is a factor of 3.6-fold. We directly link factor misallocation to severely restricted land markets as the vast majority of land is allocated by village chiefs and not marketed. In particular, the output gain from reallocation are 2.6 times larger for farms with no marketed land than for farms that only operate marketed land.

Suggested Citation

  • Diego Restuccia & Raul Santaeulalia-Llopis, 2017. "Land Misallocation and Productivity," NBER Working Papers 23128, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23128
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Deininger, Klaus W. & Xia, Fang, 2017. "Assessing Impacts of Large Scale Land Transfers: Challenges and Opportunities in Malawi’s Estate Sector," 2017 Annual Meeting, July 30-August 1, Chicago, Illinois 258112, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    2. Hernandez, M. & Britos, B. & Robles, M. & Trupkin, D., 2018. "Land market distortions: Theory and evidence from Guatemala," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 277031, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    3. Diego Restuccia & Richard Rogerson, 2017. "The Causes and Costs of Misallocation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 31(3), pages 151-174, Summer.
    4. De Magalhães, Leandro & Santaeulàlia-Llopis, Raül, 2018. "The consumption, income, and wealth of the poorest: An empirical analysis of economic inequality in rural and urban Sub-Saharan Africa for macroeconomists," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 350-371.
    5. Stephen Ayerst & Loren Brandt & Diego Restuccia, 2018. "Market Constraints, Misallocation, and Productivity in Vietnam Agriculture," Working Papers tecipa-615, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    6. Shenoy, Ajay, 2017. "Market failures and misallocation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 65-80.
    7. Klaus Deininger & Songqing Jin & Yanyan Liu & Sudhir K Singh, 2016. "Can Labor Market Imperfections Explain Changes in the Inverse Farm Size–Productivity Relationship? Longitudinal Evidence from Rural India," Working Papers id:10987, eSocialSciences.
    8. Tasso Adamopoulos & Loren Brandt & Jessica Leight & Diego Restuccia, 2017. "Misallocation, Selection and Productivity: A Quantitative Analysis with Panel Data from China," Working Papers tecipa-593, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    9. Diego Restuccia, 2013. "The Latin American Development Problem: An Interpretation," ECONOMIA JOURNAL, THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION - LACEA, vol. 0(Spring 20), pages 69-108, January.
    10. Emran, M. Shahe & Shilpi, Forhad, 2015. "Do Land Market Restrictions Hinder Structural Change in a Rural Economy? Evidence from Sri Lanka," MPRA Paper 66017, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Diego Restuccia, 2018. "Misallocation and Aggregate Productivity across Time and Space," Working Papers tecipa-608, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    12. Chaoran Chen, 2017. "Technology Adoption, Capital Deepening, and International Productivity Differences," Working Papers tecipa-584, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    13. Deininger, Klaus & Savastano, Sara & Xia, Fang, 2017. "Smallholders’ land access in Sub-Saharan Africa: A new landscape?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 78-92.
    14. Cesar Blanco & Xavier Raurich, 2018. "Agricultural Composition, Structural Change and Labor Productivity," 2018 Meeting Papers 772, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    15. Duranton,Gilles & Ghani,Syed Ejaz & Goswami,Arti Grover & Kerr,William Robert, 2015. "The misallocation of land and other factors of production in India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7221, The World Bank.
    16. Burchardi, Konrad B. & Gulesci, Selim & Lerva, Benedetta & Sulaiman, Munshi, 2017. "Moral Hazard: Experimental Evidence from Tenancy Contracts," CEPR Discussion Papers 12232, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. IFPRI International Food Policy Research Institute, 2016. "Can Labour Market Imperfections Explain Changes in the Inverse Farm Size-Productivity Relationship?: Longitudinal Evidence from Rural India," Working Papers id:11007, eSocialSciences.
    18. Duranton,Gilles & Ghani,Syed Ejaz & Goswami,Arti Grover & Kerr,William Robert, 2015. "Effects of land misallocation on capital allocations in India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7451, The World Bank.
    19. repec:cep:stieop:58 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa

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