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Communal Land and Agricultural Productivity

Author

Listed:
  • Charles Gottlieb

    (University of Cambridge)

  • Jan Grobovsek

    (University of Edinburgh)

Abstract

This paper quantifies the aggregate impact of communal land tenure arrangements such as those that predominate in Sub-Saharan Africa. For this we use a general equilibrium selection model featuring agents that are heterogeneous in agricultural and non-agricultural skills. A fraction of aggregate land is communal and there are policy rules governing its expropriation and redistribution. These create operational frictions by subjecting rented-out communal land to the risk of expropriation. They also create occupational frictions as agricultural employment lowers the risk of expropriation as well as raises the prospect of communal land accumulation. The quantification of the model is based on policies deduced from Ethiopia. It reveals that communal land decreases productivity in agriculture relative to non-agriculture roughly by 20% in nominal and 10% in real terms. Employment and GDP, however, are not substantially affected. That serves as a reminder that ostensibly highly distortionary policies need not have substantial bite when individuals strategically adjust to them.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles Gottlieb & Jan Grobovsek, 2015. "Communal Land and Agricultural Productivity," 2015 Meeting Papers 1513, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed015:1513
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Raul Santaeulalia-Llopis & Diego Restuccia, 2014. "Land Misallocation and Productivity," 2014 Meeting Papers 1314, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Chaoran Chen & Diego Restuccia & Raul Santaeulalia-Llopis, 2017. "The Effects of Land Markets on Resource Allocation and Agricultural Productivity," Working Papers tecipa-592, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Gollin, D. & Udry, C., 2018. "Heterogeneity, Measurement Error, and Misallocation: Evidence from African Agriculture," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 277279, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    6. Chaoran Chen, 2017. "Technology Adoption, Capital Deepening, and International Productivity Differences," Working Papers tecipa-584, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    7. Cesar Blanco & Xavier Raurich, 2018. "Agricultural Composition, Structural Change and Labor Productivity," 2018 Meeting Papers 772, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. repec:gam:jlands:v:8:y:2019:i:6:p:96-:d:240243 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Le, Kien, 2018. "Land Use Restrictions, Misallocation in Agriculture, and Aggregate Productivity in Vietnam," MPRA Paper 90797, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment

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