Land certification and schooling in rural Ethiopia

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Strong property rights have often been assigned a crucial role in economic development. Land certification programs are one way to address the problem of weak property rights. This paper investigates the impact of a rural land certification program on schooling in two zones of the Amhara region of Ethiopia. This is the first study on impacts of land titling on children's schooling and labor in a rural context. Since land is productive in rural areas the impact could differ from in an urban context. Using the variation in the timing of the arrival of the program at the local level, we investigate the link between land tenure security, schooling and child labor. The results show a positive effect of improved land rights on school enrollment for all children in one of the zones studied, and for oldest sons in the other. Grade progress of oldest sons, who are most likely to inherit the land, worsens.




Congdon Fors, H., Houngbedji, K., & Lindskog, A. (2019). Land certification and schooling in rural Ethiopia. World Development, 115, 190–208.

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