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Long run agricultural land expansion, booms and busts

Edward Barbier ()

Land Use Policy, 2020, vol. 93, issue C

Abstract: Agricultural land expansion is a prominent feature in today’s developing countries. It is associated with a structural pattern of land use in many remote land-abundant regions where large-scale commercial primary product activities coexist with increased concentration of smallholders in more marginal areas. The result may be boom-bust cycles of development. If these phenomena are widespread across developing countries, then long-run expansion of agricultural land could be associated with lower levels of real income per capita, which may also fluctuate with prolonged expansion. A panel analysis conducted over 1961–2015 for 98 developing economies fails to reject this hypothesis. Policies should aim to decouple socio-economic gains through agricultural development from continued land expansion, and greater investments are needed to support smallholder agriculture, land distribution and livelihoods in these areas.

Keywords: Boom-bust cycles; Developing countries; Frontier; Land expansion; Land use; Sustainable development (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2019.01.011

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