A new GLO Discussion Paper concludes that competition for land is stronger and property rights are weaker close to historical ethnic borders.
GLO Discussion Paper No. 1261, 2023
(De facto) Historical Ethnic Borders and Land Tenure in Sub-Saharan Africa – Download PDF
by Depetris-Chauvin, Emilio & Özak, Ömer
GLO Fellow Ömer Özak
Author Abstract: We study the role of proximity to historical ethnic borders in determining individual land ownership in Sub-Saharan Africa. Following an instrumental variable strategy, we document that individuals have a lower likelihood of owning land near historical ethnic borders. In particular, the likelihood of owning land decreases by 15 percentage points, i.e., about 1/3 of the mean rate of landownership, for rural migrants who move from 57km (90th percentile) to 2 km (10th percentile) from the border. This result aligns with the view that competition for land is stronger and property rights are weaker close to historical ethnic borders in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Vol. 36, Issue 3, July 2023: Journal of Population Economics (JOPE) 26 articles.
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