How does population density influence agricultural intensification and productivity? Evidence from Ethiopia

Anna Leigh Josephson, Jacob Ricker-Gilbert, Raymond J.G.M. Florax

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study uses household-level panel data on smallholder farmers in Ethiopia to estimate how rural population density (RPD) affects agricultural intensification and productivity. Our results suggest that higher RPD is associated with smaller farm sizes, and has a positive effect on input demand, represented by increased fertilizer use per hectare. Overall, increased input use does not lead to a corresponding increase in staple crop yields, and thus farm income declines as population density increases. This suggests a situation where farmers in areas of high RPD may be stuck in place, unable to sustainably intensify in the face of rising RPD and declining farm sizes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)142-152
Number of pages11
JournalFood Policy
Volume48
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Ethiopia
  • Intensification
  • Landholding
  • Productivity
  • Rural population density
  • Sub-Saharan Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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