Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Access to land and rural poverty in developing countries: theory and evidence from Guatemala

Bandeira, Pablo and Sumpsi, Jose Maria (2009): Access to land and rural poverty in developing countries: theory and evidence from Guatemala.

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Abstract

The lack of consensus on the social and economic impact from access to land continues to generate heated political and academic debates. The existing empirical literature does not consider possible opportunity costs, factors that can affect this impact and different time horizons. Toward solving this problem, this article elaborates a theoretical argument on the potential benefits, opportunity costs and asset accumulation dynamics that may derive from gaining access to or increasing the size of rural land in developing countries. Empirical tests of the argument and poverty reduction assessment are then carried out using household data from Guatemala. Finally, policy and future research implications are derived.

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