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Citation Information

Type Working Paper
Title Land reform, distribution of land and institutions in rural Ethiopia: Analysis of inequality with dirty data
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2006
Page numbers 0-0
URL http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/index.php/papers/details/land_reform_distribution_of_land_and_institut​ions_in_rural_ethiopia_analysi/
The are two either explicitly or implicitly and widely accepted ideas about the distribution of land in Ethiopia after the reform of 1975. First, land distribution in rural Ethiopia is highly equitable, for example compared to other African countries where private ownership exists. Second, the land distribution pattern currently observed is basically explained by what happened after the reform; hence, pre-reform tenures do not help us understand post-reform land distribution. This paper questions both these ideas. Using formal inequality indexes and a methodology that explicitly considers measurement errors, the empirical results indicate that both inter- and intra-regional inequalities are high; inequality in the distribution of land is as high or even higher than other African countries. The paper also argues that the post-reform distribution is likely influenced by pre-reform distribution and calls for a more detailed historical analysis that attempts to understand the link between old tenure structures and land distribution after the land reform.

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