The paper "Efficiency and productivity differential effects of land certification program in Ethiopia" is now published as ESSP Working Paper 64.
Although theory predicts that better property rights to land can increase land productivity through tenure security effects (investment effects) and through more efficient input use due to enhanced tradability f the land (factor intensity effect), empirical studies on the size and magnitude of these effects are very scarce. Taking advantage of a unique quasi-experi-mental survey design, this study analyzes the productivity impacts of the Ethiopian land certification program by identify-ing how the investment effects (technological gains) would measure up against the benefits from any improvements in input use intensity (technical efficiency). For this purpose, we adopted a data envelopment analysis–based Malmquist-type productivity index to decompose productivity differences into (1) within-group farm efficiency differences, reflecting the technical efficiency effect, and (2) differences in the group production frontier, reflecting the long-term investment (technological) effects. The results show that farms without a land use certificate are, on aggregate, less productive than those with formalized use rights. We found no evidence to suggest this productivity difference is due to inferior technical efficiency. Rather, the reason is down to technological advantages, or a favorable investment effect, from which farm plots with a land use certificate benefit when evaluated against farms not included in the certification program. The low level of within-group efficiency of farms in each group reinforces the argument that certification programs need to be accompanied by complementary measures such as an improved financial and legal institutional framework in order to achieve the promised effects.