Does land registration and certification boost farm productivity? Evidence from Ethiopia

M.B. Melesse*, Erwin Bulte

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


According to economic theory, tenure security is an important determinant of agricultural investment and productivity. Land titling has been at the center stage of development efforts of many African countries to boost tenure security. We investigate the productivity impacts of the Ethiopian land registration and certification program, employing propensity score matching method in an effort to create a credible counterfactual. Consistent with theory, we find land registration and certification has robust positive effects on farm productivity. More tentatively, we identify the assurance effect as one probable channel for impact. Households with land certificates are more likely to adopt soil-fertility management strategies on their plots than households without certificates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)757-768
JournalAgricultural Economics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Ethiopia
  • Land certification
  • Land productivity
  • Propensity score matching


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