In my PhD I examine how people are affected by foreign companies acquiring and investing in land. These Large-Scale Land Acquistions (or Investments) or Land Grabs are controversial, though there are few quantitative micro-level studies.
Local Economy effects of Large-Scale Agricultural Investments (with Esther Mokuwa, Paul Richards and Maarten Voors)
The last decade has seen a huge surge in land acquisitions by foreign companies. What are the impacts of such investments? To date there has been little rigorous quantitative evidence on the issue. We examine the economic impacts of a large-scale biofuel plantation in Sierra Leone. We conduct a difference in difference analysis using three waves of a large n survey in both communities directly affected by the plantation and those outside the catchment area. We find a large average drop in income, mainly driven by lower income from agricultural activities. We argue this is caused by a labour demand shock, reducing agricultural production. A spillover analysis confirms that the impacts are at least partially transmitted by a shock to the local economy. Households that are employed at the plantation benefit: their incomes and assets increase. As a result, village-level inequality increases.