Rural Demography, Public Services and Land Rights in Africa: a Village-Level Analysis in Burkina Faso

58 Pages Posted: 31 Dec 2011  

Margaret McMillan

Tufts University - Department of Economics; International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

William A. Masters

Tufts University - Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy; Tufts University - Department of Economics

Harounan Kazianga

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater

Date Written: December 2011

Abstract

This paper uses historical census data from Burkina Faso to characterize local demographic pressures associated with internal migration into river valleys after Onchocerciasis eradication, combined with a new survey of village elders to document change over time and differences across villages in local public goods provision, market institutions and land use rights. We hypothesize that higher local population densities are associated with more public goods and a transition from open-access to regulated land use. Controlling for province or village fixed effects, we find that villages' variance in population associated with proximity to rivers is closely correlated with higher levels of infrastructure, markets and individual land rights, as opposed to familial or communal rights. Responding to population growth with both improved public services and private property rights is consistent with both scale effects in public good provision, and changes in the scarcity of land.

Suggested Citation

McMillan, Margaret and Masters, William A. and Kazianga, Harounan, Rural Demography, Public Services and Land Rights in Africa: a Village-Level Analysis in Burkina Faso (December 2011). NBER Working Paper No. w17718. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1977768

Margaret McMillan (Contact Author)

Tufts University - Department of Economics ( email )

Medford, MA 02155
United States

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

2033 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

William A. Masters

Tufts University - Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy ( email )

150 Harrison Avenue
Boston, MA 02111
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sites.tufts.edu/willmasters

Tufts University - Department of Economics ( email )

Medford, MA 02155
United States

Harounan Kazianga

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater ( email )

Stillwater, OK 74078-0555
United States

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