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Who shall inherit the land? Exploring gendered patterns of land inheritance in Nigeria Ephraim Nkonya a Chiara Kovarik a Helen Merkelova b a International.

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Presentation on theme: "Who shall inherit the land? Exploring gendered patterns of land inheritance in Nigeria Ephraim Nkonya a Chiara Kovarik a Helen Merkelova b a International."— Presentation transcript:

1 Who shall inherit the land? Exploring gendered patterns of land inheritance in Nigeria Ephraim Nkonya a Chiara Kovarik a Helen Merkelova b a International Food Policy Research Institute b University of Minnesota, St. Paul

2 Introduction  Land is a very important asset for the rural poor in Africa  Studies have found that land ownership by women improves household welfare (i.e. Deere and Doss 2006)  However, women remain disadvantaged with regards to control and ownership of land  Land inheritance is a very common method of land acquisition in SSA  But traditional systems of land inheritance and bequeathal are heavily biased against women  To date, many studies on land inheritance have been anthropological or sociological in nature, though there have been recent quantitative studies on the determinants on land inheritance (i.e. Quisumbing et al. 2004; Fafchamps and Quisumbing 2005; Peterman 2012; Kumar and Quisumbing 2012).

3  This study contributes to the quantitative body of work on land inheritance and bequeathal patterns in SSA using Nigeria as a case study.  A gendered understanding of how patterns of inheritance and bequeathal contribute to the persistent bias against women will help practitioners and policymakers to better address gendered inequalities in land ownership  The paper looks at what drives landowners to bequeath their land to males or females  The analysis and results can contribute to the design of policies and strategies for increasing women’s land ownership Introduction

4 Background on Inheritance Land inheritance is a form of asset and wealth transfer between generations Particularly important in poor, rural contexts Takes the form of “inter vivos” or bequest, and often occurs at important transitional points in life (marriage, death of a parent, dissolution of marriage) In poor contexts inheritance can be a particularly important form of asset transfer that makes people less vulnerable and prevents the intergenerational transfer of poverty Many factors condition decisions on who receives bequeathals For example, studies find that parents consider factors such as: future returns children might bring, preferences for equality among siblings, equity-efficiency tradeoffs, lifetime income, schooling opportunities, old age support, and how children fare in marriage markets, etc. (i.e. Quisumbing et al. 2004; Estudillo et al 2001; Quisumbing and Otsuka, 2001, etc.)

5 Background on inheritance Some of the factors that influence whether women can and do inherit land in Africa: Political and legal environment Laws on land ownership, purchase and inheritance Customary versus state law Whether land is owned communally, individually, or publicly Cultural and religious traditions Patrilineal/matrilineal/uterine matrilineal society Religion Social norms and gender biases Widowhood Divorce Social stigmas around female land ownership Household and individual attributes Whether households own land Whether households are polygamous Whether households have preferences for bequeathing to sons/daughters Number of children in the family Timing of the bequeathal Education level of individuals in the household Bargaining power of the individuals in the household

6 Methods & data

7 Data Treatment# of hhds % of total FHHD (%) Treatment group Control group Total Source: Fadama III household survey 2009 NOTE: Analysis is conducted at the level of adult individuals – as land could be owned by individuals within the family

8 Land owner WomenMenOtherTotal No. of plots81821,7284,578 27,124 Land tenure Percent Leasehold 6, Customary 9, Rented 2, Borrowed 1, Sharecropped Communal 1, Freehold 5, Total 27, Methods & data

9 Who do you intend to bequeath land to? Heir of land Female owned land Male-owned land P-value Percent Household head Hhd & spouse Spouse only Entire family Female hhd members Male hhd members Hhd members other than hhd head or spouse Economic interest group Non-household member <0.001 Both men and women are more likely to bequeath land to male household members than to female household members overall. However, women are more likely to bequeath land to female members than men are.

10 Land heirs for land owners who plan to bequeath to male or female heirs

11 Hhd capital endowment & production across hhd planning to bequeath land to female & male heirs Capital endowmentMale heirFemale heirP-value Value of crops (000 Naira) Irrigated area (ha) Rainfed area (ha) Non-formal credit received (000 Naira) Formal credit (000 Naira) Productive asset value (000 Naira) Value of remittances (000 Naira) TLU Education of land heir Education of land owners - Female land owners Male land owners

12 Econometric results

13 Structural modelsReduced model MLE IV-GMM MLE Female land owner0.652*** 0.121*** 0.654*** Female household head-0.712*** *** *** Ln(age of land owner) Ln(number of adult males) Ln(number of adult females) Religion of household head (cf Moslem) Christian Other religion Ln(value of remittance, 000 N) Ln(value of productive assets, N)0.024*** 0.011*** 0.022*** Ln(TLU) a ** Ln(irrigated area, ha)0.163*** 0.082*** 0.193*** Ln(rainfed area, ha)0.069*** 0.044*** 0.060***

14 Land tenure (cf customary tenure)MLE IV-GMM MLE Leasehold0.414*** 0.139*** 0.411*** Rented0.122** 0.048*** 0.118** Communal land0.133* 0.063*** Freehold with certificate0.287*** 0.111*** 0.289*** Formal education of land owner (years) Formal education of household head (cf no formal education) Primary-0.106** ** Secondary *** ** Post-secondary *** Koranic education Membership to groups (cf Fadama group) Cooperative union-0.207*** Religious groups-0.098** Mutual support group-0.264*** 0.013

15 Structural modelReduced model Access to rural servicesMLE IV-GMM MLE Ln(distance to markets, km) Ln(distance to all-weather road, km) ** Ln(credit from formal sources, N) Ln(credit from informal sources, N)-0.017* Received agricultural advisory services Has access to market information0.095* ***

16 Conclusions Strong bias against women in land bequeathal and inheritance. Even women land owners are likely to bequeath their land to men overall – potentially to stave off potential loss of land However, women are more likely to bequeath their land to women than men are Women more likely to acquire land through land markets than through inheritance

17 Factors that the increase propensity of land bequeathal to women Women land owners Land owned through leasehold and freehold Land area and value of productive assets

18 Factors negatively associated with land bequeathal to women Education of land owner Access to rural services

19 Implications Our study finds that education and access to rural services could reduce women’s propensity to inherit land as a result of a tendency to bequeath them with alternative forms of capital that lead to better welfares. Hence, investment into women’s education and access to markets should be done with the intention to increase women’s access to other types of assets and not necessarily land. One strategy to increase women’s access to land is to strengthen land markets, though titling should be done with care


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