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Abstract: We assess the role of land markets on factor misallocation in Ethiopia--where land is owned by the state--by exploiting policy-driven variation in land rentals across time and space arising from a recent land certification reform. Our main finding from detailed micro data is that land rentals significantly reduce misallocation and increase agricultural productivity. These effects are nonlinear across farms--impacting more those farms farther away from their efficient operational scale. The effect of land rentals on productivity is 70 percent larger when controlling for non-market rentals--those with a pre-harvest rental rate of zero. Land rentals significantly increase the adoption of new technologies, especially fertilizer use.
Keywords: Productivity, agriculture, land markets, rentals, misallocation, micro data.
JEL Classification: E02, O11, O13, O55, Q1.