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Land and poverty: the role of soil fertility and vegetation quality in poverty reduction

Heger, Martin Philipp, Zens, Gregor and Bangalore, Mook (2020) Land and poverty: the role of soil fertility and vegetation quality in poverty reduction. Environment and Development Economics, 25 (4). 315 - 333. ISSN 1355-770X

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Identification Number: 10.1017/S1355770X20000066

Abstract

The debate on the land-poverty nexus is inconclusive, with past research unable to identify the causal dynamics. We use a unique global panel dataset that links survey and census derived poverty data with measures of land ecosystems at the subnational level. Rainfall is used to overcome the endogeneity in the land-poverty relationship in an instrumental variable approach. This is the first global study using quasi-experimental methods to uncover the degree to which land improvements matter for poverty reduction. We draw three main conclusions. First, land improvements are important for poverty reduction in rural areas and particularly so for Sub-Saharan Africa. Second, land improvements are pro-poor: poorer areas see larger poverty alleviation effects due to improvements in land. Finally, irrigation plays a major role in breaking the link between bad weather and negative impacts on the poor through reduced vegetation growth and soil fertility.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/environmen...
Additional Information: © 2020 The Authors
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Grantham Research Institute
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
JEL classification: O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O11 - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O13 - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Other Primary Products
Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics > Q1 - Agriculture > Q15 - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation
I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I3 - Welfare and Poverty > I32 - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2022 13:57
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2022 09:45
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/115658

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