Document Type

Honors Project On-Campus Access Only


This paper examines the connection between widows’ land inheritance rights and agricultural investment. While substantial research exists on the relationship between property rights and investment, the number of studies on the effects of tenure systems, more specifically as they relate to inheritance, on agricultural investment has been limited. Using four waves of the Uganda Living Standards Measurement Survey- Integrated Survey on Agriculture (LSMS-ISA), I measure the effects of inheritance laws on both short-term and long-term agricultural investment. My results suggest that the threat of land expropriation upon widowhood leads to a decrease in fertilizer use, labor supply, as well as in the likelihood of fallowing and planting perennial crops. I also observe that parcels jointly managed by husbands and wives in polygynous households use more fertilizer and plant more perennial crops than their monogamous counterparts. This paper contributes to a growing body of literature that explores the causes of widows’ vulnerability in Sub-Saharan Africa.



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