Is Land Titling in Sub-Saharan Africa Cost-Effective? Evidence from Madagascar

Posted: 16 Jun 2008

See all articles by Hanan G. Jacoby

Hanan G. Jacoby

World Bank - Agriculture and Rural Development Department; World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Bart Minten

Cornell University - Food and Nutrition Policy Program; Catholic University of Leuven (KUL) - Department of Agro-Engineering and Economics

Date Written: 2007

Abstract

Formalizing land rights has been promoted as a way to encourage agricultural investment and stimulate land markets, yet little is known about the benefits of such policies in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the preconditions for success are less favorable. The analysis uses a large sample of plots from an intensively titled rice-growing area of Madagascar and compares land-specific investments, land productivity, and land values for titled and untitled plots cultivated by the same household. Having a title has no significant effect on plot-specific investment and correspondingly little effect on land productivity and land values. These results are broadly consistent with a simulation of a theoretical model of investment under expropriation risk calibrated to the same data. A cost-benefit analysis suggests that the current system of formal titling should not be extended in rural Madagascar and that any new system of land registration would have to be quite inexpensive to be worthwhile.

Keywords: Q15

Suggested Citation

Jacoby, Hanan G. and Minten, Bart, Is Land Titling in Sub-Saharan Africa Cost-Effective? Evidence from Madagascar (2007). The World Bank Economic Review, Vol. 21, No. 3, pp. 461-485, 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1146045 or http://dx.doi.org/lhm011

Hanan G. Jacoby

World Bank - Agriculture and Rural Development Department ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/hjacoby

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Bart Minten (Contact Author)

Cornell University - Food and Nutrition Policy Program ( email )

BP 6313
Antananarivo 101
Madagascar
033 11 38520 (Phone)
261 20 2222198 (Fax)

Catholic University of Leuven (KUL) - Department of Agro-Engineering and Economics ( email )

Kardinaal Mercierlaan 92
Heverlee, B-3001
Belgium

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