The notion that the formal titling and individualization of land rights in developing countries lead to higher investments in land and agricultural productivity holds sway in academic and development circles. In this paper, this notion is analyzed based on a comparative study of land reform programs and their implications for access to land, credit, and agricultural investments in Ghana, Kenya, and Vietnam. It focuses on how different access routes to land influence access to credit, and the transaction costs of land reform programs for agricultural investments. The paper concludes that in developing countries, the transaction costs of land reforms for investments can significantly increase if the influence of power is not addressed in order to reduce unequal access to land. The practical implementation of land reform is influenced by many factors, including the control on political power. Thus, measures must accompany implementation to check the use of power to derail land reform objectives. Moreover, the paper supports the argument that land reforms should be implemented in their local contexts so as to have positive effects on agriculture.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited