Summary: The need for land-related investment to ensure sustainable land management and increase productivity of land use is widely recognized. However, there is little rigorous evidence on the effects of property rights for increasing agricultural productivity and contributing toward poverty reduction in Africa. Whether and by how much overlapping property rights reduce investment incentives, and the scope for policies to counter such disincentives, are thus important policy issues. Using information on parcels under ownership and usufruct by the same household from a nationally representative survey in Uganda, the authors find significant disincentives associated with overlapping property rights on short and long-term investments. The paper combines this result with information on crop productivity to obtain a rough estimate of the magnitudes involved. The authors make suggestions on ways to eliminate such inefficiencies.
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