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University of California Davis (2021)

Accounting for Relationships in Land and Markets : Three Essays in Development Economics (Burkina Faso and Uganda)

Meinzen-Dick, Laura Anjali

Titre : Accounting for Relationships in Land and Markets : Three Essays in Development Economics (Burkina Faso and Uganda)

Auteur : Meinzen-Dick, Laura Anjali

Université de soutenance : University of California Davis

Grade : Doctor Philosophy (PhD)in Agricultural and Resource Economics 2021

Résumé partiel
This dissertation is comprised of three essays in development economics in Burkina Faso and Uganda. The first two chapters explore implications of land rights and customary tenure systems, particularly the ramifications of rights to a single piece of land being held by multiple people. In the first essay, I look at political responses to a decentralization reform that will consolidate and redistribute land rights. In the second, I explore in what contexts multiple rightsholders create tenure insecurity, and how agricultural investment is affected. Finally, the third essay presents descriptive analysis on links between local markets and early childhood nutrition.

Decentralization of Land Governance and Elections in Burkina Faso
In the first chapter, I study politicians’ responses to the decentralization of land governance in Burkina Faso. To what extent are politicians motivated by private rents versus concerns about constituent welfare ? I develop a theoretical model and test its implications using municipal elections data during the experimental pilot phase of a land governance decentralization reform. I find that 0.8 additional political parties contest elections in municipalities randomly slated to receive pilot-phase local land offices, although voter turnout is lower than expected and elections do not become meaningfully more competitive. After implementation and documentation of land rights, both parties and voters behave similarly to control municipality counterparts. From this pattern, and by examining heterogeneity in political responses according to different tensions emerging from customary land rights systems, I argue that politicians are not only driven by their own private rents, but also demonstrate a policy-centric focus on constituent welfare. This speaks to a trade-off inherent in decentralization : despite potential efficiency gains and increased accountability to local citizens, more localized government could be more vulnerable to elite capture, and therefore the motivations of those elites are important.

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Page publiée le 23 janvier 2023