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Formalizing rural land rights in West Africa : early evidence from a randomized impact evaluation in Benin

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  • Goldstein,Markus P.
  • Houngbedji,Kenneth
  • Kondylis,Florence
  • O'Sullivan,Michael B.
  • Selod,Harris

Abstract

This paper presents early evidence from the first large-scale randomized-controlled trial of a land formalization program. The study examines the links between land demarcation and investment in rural Benin in light of a model of agricultural production under insecure tenure. The demarcation process involved communities in the mapping and attribution of land rights; cornerstones marked parcel boundaries and offered lasting landmarks. Consistent with the model, improved tenure security under demarcation induces a shift toward long-term investment on treated parcels. This investment does not yet coincide with gains in agricultural productivity. The analysis also identifies significant gender-specific effects. Female-managed landholdings in treated villages are more likely to be left fallow?an important soil fertility investment. Women further respond to an exogenous tenure security change by moving production away from relatively secure, demarcated land and toward less secure land outside the village to guard those parcels.

Suggested Citation

  • Goldstein,Markus P. & Houngbedji,Kenneth & Kondylis,Florence & O'Sullivan,Michael B. & Selod,Harris, 2016. "Formalizing rural land rights in West Africa : early evidence from a randomized impact evaluation in Benin," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7435, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:7435
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    File URL: http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/887191468195563799/pdf/WPS7435-FRENCH.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Place, Frank, 2009. "Land Tenure and Agricultural Productivity in Africa: A Comparative Analysis of the Economics Literature and Recent Policy Strategies and Reforms," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 1326-1336, August.
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    2. Nga Thi Viet Nguyen & Felipe F. Dizon, 2017. "The Geography of Welfare in Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, and Togo," World Bank Other Operational Studies 27994, The World Bank.
    3. Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela & Quisumbing, Agnes R. & Doss, Cheryl R. & Theis, Sophie, 2017. "Women’s land rights as a pathway to poverty reduction: A framework and review of available evidence," IFPRI discussion papers 1663, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Jérémie GIGNOUX & Karen MACOURS & Liam WREN-LEWIS, 2015. "Impact of land administration programs on agricultural productivity and rural development: existing evidence, challenges and new approaches," Review of Agricultural and Environmental Studies - Revue d'Etudes en Agriculture et Environnement, INRA Department of Economics, vol. 96(3), pages 467-498.
    5. Lota Tamini & Kotchikpa Gabriel Lawin, 2018. "Droits de propriété foncière et performance des petits producteurs agricoles des pays en développement : une synthèse de la littérature empirique," CIRANO Working Papers 2018s-05, CIRANO.
    6. Thomas Coen & Sarah M. Hughes & Matthew Ribar & William Valletta & Kristen Velyvis, "undated". "Evaluation of the Irrigation and Water Resource Management Project in Senegal: Interim Evaluation Report," Mathematica Policy Research Reports d61e6ded74a24d40a2121bd80, Mathematica Policy Research.

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