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Getting the (Gender-Disaggregated) lay of the land: Impact of survey respondent selection on measuring land ownership and rights

Talip Kilic, Heather Moylan and Gayatri Koolwal

World Development, 2021, vol. 146, issue C

Abstract: Monitoring international goals on land ownership and rights relies fundamentally on the quality of underlying data, which, in the context of surveys, are directly impacted by how respondents are selected. This study leverages two national surveys in Malawi that asked households about household members’ ownership and rights of agricultural land, but which differed in their approach to respondent selection. Compared with the international best practice of privately interviewing adults about their personal asset ownership and rights, the analysis reveals that the business-as-usual approach of interviewing only a most knowledgeable household member on adult members’ ownership and rights of agricultural land leads to (i) a higher share of men claiming exclusive reported and economic ownership, and (ii) a lower share of women claiming joint reported and economic ownership. Using private interviews of spouses’ ownership and rights over the same set of parcels, the analysis also shows that when conflicting claims emerge, proxies for greater household status for women are positively associated with scenarios where women attribute at least some land ownership to themselves.

Keywords: Gender; Land; Respondent Selection; Household Surveys; Malawi; Sub-Saharan Africa (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2021.105545

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