Land to the landless: Does the type of approach matter?

Inoussa Boubacar, Gibson Nene

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Uncertainty about land ownership is believed to increase vulnerability of marginalized groups in a society. When agriculture is not only responsible for employing more than half of the labor force population but also the main source of the livelihood of poor families, access to land becomes critical. This paper conducts a comprehensive analysis of the impact of land reform on agricultural output in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries. Employing a system of equations model and controlling for traditional variables, our study yields several noteworthy findings. First, our results reveal that land development exhibits a positive impact on agricultural output, emphasizing the importance of investment in agriculture. Conversely, the positive coefficient for civil unrest highlights the intricate relationship between land reform and social stability, suggesting that unrest may be a consequence of land reform aimed at addressing inequality. Second, the channel equations shed light on the indirect pathways through which factors like rural population growth rate, life expectancy, and capital stock influence agricultural output. These findings underscore the potential benefits of managing rural population growth, improving healthcare, and increasing investment in agriculture, albeit with varying degrees of impact. Third, our study dissects the different effects of land reform policies. Willing seller-willing buyer and various forms of expropriation are found to be significant in both land development and civil unrest equations, indicating their dual role in promoting land development while potentially contributing to social unrest. Striking a balance between land reform and stability emerges as a crucial policy challenge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number107135
JournalLand Use Policy
StatePublished - Jun 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024


  • Civil unrest
  • Land development
  • Land expropriation
  • Southern Africa
  • Willing seller-willing buyer


Dive into the research topics of 'Land to the landless: Does the type of approach matter?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this