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The Effects of Land Markets on Resource Allocation and Agricultural Productivity

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  • Chaoran Chen
  • Diego Restuccia
  • Raül Santaeulàlia-Llopis

Abstract

We assess the effects of land markets on misallocation and productivity both empirically and quantitatively. Exploiting variation from a land certification reform across time and space in Ethiopia, we find that certification facilitates rentals and improves agricultural productivity. We calibrate a quantitative macroeconomic model with heterogeneous household farms facing institutional costs to land markets using the micro panel data. The effect of a counterfactual reallocation from no rentals to efficient rentals increases zone-level agricultural productivity by 43 percent on average. While our estimated institutional costs are strongly associated with land certification across zones, there are nontrivial residual frictions to rental market activity, implying that land certification only partially captures the overall effects of rentals. A full certification reform accounts for just one-fourth of the overall productivity gains from land rentals. This result highlights the importance of comprehensive reforms alleviating frictions to land transactions beyond the granting of certificates.

Suggested Citation

  • Chaoran Chen & Diego Restuccia & Raül Santaeulàlia-Llopis, 2017. "The Effects of Land Markets on Resource Allocation and Agricultural Productivity," NBER Working Papers 24034, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:24034
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Luciano Ayala-cantu & Bruno Morando, 2018. "Rental markets, gender, and land certificates: Evidence from Vietnam," WIDER Working Paper Series 96, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    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. Nith, Kosal & Ly, Singhong, 2018. "Reinvigorating Cambodian agriculture: Transforming from extensive to intensive agriculture," MPRA Paper 93091, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 23 Dec 2018.
    5. Ayala-Cantu, Luciano & Morando, Bruno, 2020. "Rental markets, gender, and land certificates: Evidence from Vietnam," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 94(C).
    6. Tasso Adamopoulos & Diego Restuccia, 2020. "Land Reform and Productivity: A Quantitative Analysis with Micro Data," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 1-39, July.
    7. Gottlieb, Charles & Grobovšek, Jan, 2019. "Communal land and agricultural productivity," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 138(C), pages 135-152.
    8. Le, Kien, 2020. "Land use restrictions, misallocation in agriculture, and aggregate productivity in Vietnam," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 145(C).
    9. Chen, Chaoran, 2020. "Technology adoption, capital deepening, and international productivity differences," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    10. Marina Mendes Tavares & Diego Restuccia & Jose-Maria Da-Rocha, 2014. "Policy Distortions and Aggregate Productivity with Endogenous Establishment-Level Productivity," 2014 Meeting Papers 1196, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    11. Luciano Ayala Cantu & Bruno Morando, 2018. "Rental markets, gender, and land certificates: Evidence from Vietnam," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2018-96, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    12. Nith, Kosal & Ly, Singhong, 2018. "Reinvigorating Cambodian agriculture: Transforming from extensive to intensive agriculture," MPRA Paper 93086, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 23 Dec 2018.
    13. World Bank Group, "undated". "Africa's Pulse, No. 18, October 2018," World Bank Other Operational Studies 30455, The World Bank.
    14. 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.
    15. A.V. Chari & Elaine Liu & Shing-Yi Wang & Yongxiang Wang, 2017. "Property Rights, Land Misallocation and Agricultural Efficiency in China," Working Papers 2017-091, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    16. Fei, Xuan, 2020. "The misallocation in the Chinese land market," BOFIT Discussion Papers 23/2020, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
    17. Britos, Braulio & Hernandez, Manuel A. & Robles, Miguel & Trupkin, Danilo R., 2020. "Land market distortions and aggregate agricultural productivity: Evidence from Guatemala," IFPRI discussion papers 1969, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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    JEL classification:

    • E02 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Institutions and the Macroeconomy
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa
    • Q1 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture

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