How does population density influence agricultural intensification and productivity? Evidence from Ethiopia

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Abstract

This study uses household-level panel data on smallholder farmers in Ethiopia to estimate how rural population density (RPD) affects agricultural intensification and productivity. Our results suggest that higher RPD is associated with smaller farm sizes, and has a positive effect on input demand, represented by increased fertilizer use per hectare. Overall, increased input use does not lead to a corresponding increase in staple crop yields, and thus farm income declines as population density increases. This suggests a situation where farmers in areas of high RPD may be stuck in place, unable to sustainably intensify in the face of rising RPD and declining farm sizes. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

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Josephson, A. L., Ricker-Gilbert, J., & Florax, R. J. G. M. (2014). How does population density influence agricultural intensification and productivity? Evidence from Ethiopia. Food Policy, 48, 142–152. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodpol.2014.03.004

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