Ethiopian Journal of Economics

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Property rights and their implications on agricultural productivity in Ethiopia: a history

Temesgen Gebeyehu Baye


Property rights and relationships in Ethiopia, though complex and difficult to define, had been associated with and expressed in terms of land, which had shaped and dictated socio-politico-economic relations and processes. During pre-revolutionary imperial Ethiopia, most debates and discussions on property rights and obligations, including agricultural productivity and efficiency, were expressed in relation to the main existing tenure regime of the country: the rist tenure. This tenure, like most other indigenous tenure regimes and property arrangements in Africa, was flexible and accommodating. This historical study, based on archives, interviews and secondary sources, examines the structure and nature of property rights and relationships. The data collected through different methods was carefully examined in order to reconstruct and document property rights and their implications for agricultural productivity and efficiency in the country based on the objectives of the study.

Key Words: land, tributary rights, reversionary rights, property rights, productivity, agriculture, Ethiopia

JEL Code: Q15; P14; P17

AJOL African Journals Online