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2008-12-19 | EfD/RFF Book

The Emergence of Land Markets in Africa: Impacts on Poverty, Equity, and Efficiency

Holden, Stein T, Keijiro Otsuka, and Frank M. Place, Editors, "The Emergence of Land Markets in Africa: Impacts on Poverty, Equity, and Efficiency" (2008) RFF Press.
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The Emergence of Land Markets in Africa, edited by Stein T. Holden, Keijiro Otsuka, and Frank M. Place, is the first systematic attempt to address emerging land markets and their implications for poverty, equity, and efficiency across a number of African countries.

This book is the first systematic attempt to address emerging land markets and their implications for poverty, equity, and efficiency across a number of African countries. The high incidence of poverty and the need for increased agricultural productivity remain acute in rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa, where a lack of secure land rights and a growing scarcity of land relative to the size of the population are becoming increasingly critical issues. Indeed, land issues in the region are high on the international policy agenda. Yet our knowledge about land tenure security and other rural factor markets (such as labor, oxen, manure, purchased inputs, and credit) is far from adequate to formulate sensible policies.

External link to Review by Daniel W. Bromley:
>> The Emergence of Land Markets in Africa: Impacts on Poverty, Equity, and Efficiency, edited by Stein T. Holden, Keijiro Otsuka, and Frank M. Place (pages 1006–1008)

External links to reviews by Alain de Janvry and Gershon Feder:
>> earthscan
>> amazon

This book can be purchased from: >> RFF Press
 

EfD/RFF books focus on research and applications in environmental and natural resource economics as they are relevant to poverty reduction and environmental problems in developing countries.

"This book deals systematically and competently with the equity and efficiency implications of land markets in sub-Saharan Africa. The rigorous empirical analyses provide important insights to guide decisionmakers and development partners in formulating policies and investments to promote economic growth and poverty alleviation in Africa.”
Gershon Feder, Research Manager for Rural Development in the Development Research Group, the World Bank

The case studies in the book show that, while land markets and especially informal markets have been rapidly emerging in densely populated parts of Africa—and have generally been to the benefit of the poor--their functions remain imperfect. This is due to policy-induced tenure insecurity and the fragmentation of agricultural land. Applying rigorous quantitative analyses, the book provides a basis for taking into account the role of land markets in national land policies. All too often, the authors argue, land policies have been extreme, either prohibiting all land transactions or giving unrestricted freehold rights to a small elite at the expense of the poor. From the long experience in Asia, it is known that such policies are detrimental to both production efficiency and equity of land use. The authors argue that future policies in Africa should work with the markets. Regulations should be imposed only with careful testing that they are having the intended effects.

The Emergence of Land Markets in Africa is a resource for teaching in developed and developing countries, as it provides both comprehensive reviews of the literature and detailed case studies. It is intended to facilitate the dialogue between researchers and policymakers, as well as inspire researchers to go further in their investigations and build an even stronger basis for good policies.

The Emergence of Land Markets in Africa is the first publication in the new EfD/RFF book series. EfD/RFF books focus on research and applications in environmental and natural resource economics as they are relevant to poverty reduction and environmental problems in developing countries. The book series is part of the EfD initiative.

Stein T. Holden is a professor in development and resource economics at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences.

Keijiro Otsuka is a professorial fellow at the Foundation for Advanced Studies on International Development and a professor in economics at National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo.

Frank M. Place is an economist in the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) in Nairobi, Kenya.

RFF Press

RFF Press publishes social science books to inform public and private sector decisionmaking about energy and the environment. The Press is committed to publishing rigorous, policy relevant work from across the social science disciplines and to making its works accessible to a broad, worldwide audience.

RFF Press is a division of Resources for the Future, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that conducts independent research on environmental, energy, and natural resource issues. Founded in 1952, RFF pioneered the application of economics as a tool for developing more effective policy about the use and conservation of natural resources. Its scholars continue to employ social science methods to analyze critical issues concerning pollution control, energy policy, land and water use, hazardous waste, climate change, biodiversity, and the environmental challenges of developing countries.