This is a chapter in a book entitled "The Emergence of Land Markets in Africa Impacts on Poverty, Equity, and Efficiency" edited by Stein Holden, Keijiro Otsuka and Frank Place, 2009.
Previous studies indicated gender-specific variations in
land productivity. For instance, land productivity on plots controlled by women
was lower than that on plots controlled by men in Ghana and productivity decreased
by 30% on female plots as compared to male plots in Burkina Faso. This chapter
tries to analyze the market and productivity implications of the typically
weaker position of women that is found in most African settings when it comes to
their land rights and land-related decision-making positions. It assesses
whether gender-associated market participation in Amhara region of Ethiopia has
land productivity implications.
Preceding studies in Ethiopia, using a double moral hazard model, also showed
lower productivity on land owned and operated by female-headed households and land
of female landlords than that of male-headed households and male landlords. This
was explained by the fact that female landlord households were assumed to be
more tenure insecure and were therefore considered less able and less likely to
use threat of eviction and contract renewal as an instrument to enhance
productivity on rented-out land.
This chapter tries to assess other models and hypotheses
that explain the variations in the land productivity of female- and male- headed
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