The profits of power: Land rights and agricultural investment in Ghana

Markus Goldstein*, Christopher Udry

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

519 Scopus citations


We examine the impact of ambiguous and contested land rights on investment and productivity in agriculture in Akwapim, Ghana. We show that individuals who hold powerful positions in a local political hierarchy have more secure tenure rights and that as a consequence they invest more in land fertility and have substantially higher output. The intensity of investments on different plots cultivated by a given individual corresponds to that individual's security of tenure over those specific plots and, in turn, to the individual's position in the political hierarchy relevant to those specific plots.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)981-1022
Number of pages42
JournalJournal of Political Economy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


Dive into the research topics of 'The profits of power: Land rights and agricultural investment in Ghana'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this