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Global Land Inequality

Luis Bauluz, Yajna Govind () and Filip Novokmet
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Luis Bauluz: University of Bonn, WIL - World Inequality Lab
Filip Novokmet: WIL - World Inequality Lab , University of Bonn

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Abstract: Agricultural land is vital for three out of four of the poorest billion individuals in the world yet little is known about the distribution of agricultural land. Existing crosscountry estimates of land inequality, based on agriculture census data, measure the size distribution of agricultural holdings. These neither reflect land ownership inequality nor value inequality and often do not account for the landless population. In this paper, we tackle these issues and provide novel and consistent estimates of land inequality across countries, based on household surveys. We show that i) land-value inequality can differ significantly from land-area inequality, ii) differences in the proportion of landless across countries vary substantially, affecting markedly inequality estimates and, iii) regional patterns in inequality according to our benchmark metric (landvalue inequality including the landless) contradict existing estimates from agricultural censuses. Overall, South Asia and Latin America exhibit the highest inequality with top 10% landowners capturing up to 75% of agricultural land, followed by Africa and 'Communist' Asia (China and Vietnam) at levels around 55-60%. .

Keywords: Land Ownership; Inequality; Distribution (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr and nep-sea
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Related works:
Working Paper: Global Land Inequality (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: Global Land Inequality (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: Global Land Inequality (2020) Downloads
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