Abstract There are many factors that account for the levels of agricultural productivity within a given rural area. This research is motivated by the issue of food security and how farmers may achieve this through agricultural productivity. More specifically it considers lower productivity levels of female farmers and how this may contribute to gender differences in food security and agricultural income. This paper examines whether the security of land rights explains part of the gender gap in agricultural productivity in rural Ghana. The relationship between these variables is explored using economic theories such as the Theory of Household Bargaining, the Assurance Effect and the Collateralizability Effect. I hypothesize that more secure land tenure rights for women will be able to explain the gender gap in agricultural productivity. I test the hypothesis by conducting a multivariate regression analysis using household survey data from Ghana. The OLS regression shows than women do have lower agricultural productivity than men on plots of land that they own. Although the estimated relationship between the security of land ownership (as measured by the fear of expropriation during a fallow period) and agricultural productivity is positive, it is statistically insignificant and has a negligible effect on gender as an explanatory variable. In addition to output per hectare, this Independent Study considers also how secure land tenure can affect agricultural investment of farmers in rural Ghana, more specifically through irrigation, soil and water conservation and tree planting. The empirical analysis shows overall a negative effect on investment when the farmer is female, and varying coefficients for land tenure security, depending on the type of investment being explored.


Long, Melanie




Agricultural and Resource Economics | Food Security

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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