The Impact of Informal Land Tenure Security on Credit Taking and Land Rental Markets in Zambia’s Eastern Province

Published in: Annual World Bank Land and Poverty Conference

Increased tenure security has long been hypothesized to incentivize greater land investment and improve household economic outcomes, including through a greater ability to obtain credit and increased engagement in land rental markets. However, the empirical support for a strong and positive link between stronger tenure security and household obtainment of credit or engagement in land rental markets has been mixed or tenuous, especially in customary contexts. To provide policy relevant programming recommendations, this paper analyzes the relationship between tenure security and household credit taking and engagement in land rental markets in the customary setting of Zambia’s Eastern Province. This analysis draws on cross-sectional and panel data collected as part of USAID-funded impact evaluations of interventions designed to strengthen customary land tenure. This study represents an important contribution to the literature, through the use of panel data and a more robust set of tenure security indicators than have previously been available.