PROPERTY RIGHTS, ECONOMIC ORGANIZATION AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE AGRICULTURAL SECTOR -- TANZANIA AND KENYA
FUGUITT, DIANA LEE
Doctor of Philosophy
This dissertation is an application of recent innovations in analytical economic history to the field of development. It applies the modern economic theory of property rights and North's recently advanced theory of the state to the development of Kenyan and Tanzanian agriculture since the 1950s. The dissertation explores the forces which constrained the choice of a property rights system in each case, but the main emphasis is on institutional development and on its implications for efficiency, growth and income distribution. In Kenya, African lands were consolidated and registered, barriers on African cash crop production were removed, and private land rights were fostered in the European areas. This system constituted a relatively efficient property rights structure, which contributed to rapid growth of small farm output, but at the expense of increasing income inequalities. This result is consistent with theoretical expectations. Nevertheless, in areas characterized by marginal land and scarce capital, or by absentee ownership, the efficiency of property rights was not a binding constraint, and the change in property rights had little effect. Political constraints prevented the generalization of efficient property rights, as in the case of intertribal land transfers which are still barred. The resulting loss in efficiency, compounded by the related growth in landlessness, constitutes one of the country's most pressing problems today. The aim of Tanzania's leaders was to reorganize agricultural production on a cooperative basis. The realization of this goal was handicapped by a number of factors, including inadequate material and administrative resources, unrealistic planning and implementation, and consequent failure to mobilize peasant support for the envisaged transformation. Individual land ownership persisted and inequalities increased--though on a lesser scale than in Kenya--in spite of the official collectivist and egalitarian ideologies. Increasing dirigisme, relying on an ineffectual bureaucracy, resulted in low productivity and retarded growth, contributing to low levels of food production in the 1970s. The dissertation explains the nature of the organizational choices faced by developing countries and relates these choices to their performance and structural consequences.