This chapter takes a microeconomic approach to examining land rights, focusing on rural land rights in Africa and highlighting land rights in Ethiopia. The article revisits the standard arguments for why secure, individualised property rights matter for efficiency. Section 3 provides a discussion of some generic methodological issues associated with the empirical exploration of the link between land related property rights and efficiency. It highlights issues related to the macroeconomic approach, and presents the case for and some problems with a more microeconomic analysis. Section 4 introduces the Ethiopian case-study, describing its recent evolution of land rights and emphasising its differences with more commonly studied cases in Africa. The final section uses a rural panel data set from Ethiopia with detailed data on land right perceptions to supplement existing evidence on the impact of the particular land rights context on specific investments in land.
in The Microeconomics of Institutions, Tim Besley and Raji Jayaraman (eds.), MIT Press [forthcoming, no details available]