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Relaxing credit constraints and tenure insecurity in imperfect markets

Institutions & Governance Uganda

Credit: Andrew Jones

Helping citizens better secure property and land titles is a priority throughout much of the developing world given uncertain land ownership policies arrest economic growth and poverty alleviation. These issues are especially relevant in Uganda, where 90% of the population live in rural areas and 80% of the land is held under non-registered customary tenureLack of tenure security has motivated the World Bank and the Government of Uganda to launch an ongoing initiative to provide households with financial and informational incentives designed to promote land registration and joint spousal titling. Available evidence shows that registration programs can unlock economic opportunities, opening up new ways to invest in agricultural production or off-farm income-generating activities given greater security in property ownership. However, access to credit may be important to enable households to act on new investment opportunities, making the complementary role of liquidity alongside tenure security important to understand for effective policymaking.

This study aims to shine novel light on the complementarity between relaxing credit and tenure security constraints. We plan to conduct an experiment in rural Uganda in which households are randomly assigned the opportunity to obtain credit. This experiment is layered over an ongoing evaluation of a large-scale government land titling intervention led by the Ministry of Lands, Housing, and Urban Development, and results will directly inform the government’s efforts to title more than one million households in Uganda.

All PIS on Project
  • Markus Goldstein
  • James Habyarimana
  • Joao Montalvao
  • Michael O'Sullivan
  • Christopher Udry
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