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Improving Women Farmers' Land Rights and Access to Credit: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial in Uganda
Initial registration date
April 19, 2018
October 16, 2019 12:16 PM EDT
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Other Primary Investigator(s)
London School of Economics
Additional Trial Information
Developing countries are plagued with multiple institutional and market distortions. One important institutional imperfection is weak property rights over land. While land titling is expected to increase the incentives individuals have to make efficient long-term productive investments, its effectiveness might be weakened without an accompanying increase in credit supply. The core goal of this study is to shine novel light on the complementarity between strengthening land rights and relaxing credit constraints, by randomly assigning rural households in Western Uganda to four groups. The first group receives land titles, the second group receives a line of credit, the third group receives both land titles and the line of credit, and the fourth group receives no intervention. In addition, given women’s limited land rights under traditional customary land tenure systems, this study also seeks to understand the effectiveness of three instruments in promoting the take up of joint land titles: (i) the provision of information about the benefits of joint titling through a short video (rather than just generic information about titling), (ii) making the land title offer conditional on the wife’s name being included in the title (rather than making the offer unconditional), and targeting the land titling intervention to both the wife and the husband (rather than just targeting the husband).
Ghatak, Maitreesh et al. 2019. "Improving Women Farmers' Land Rights and Access to Credit: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial in Uganda." AEA RCT Registry. October 16.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Our outcomes of interest are take up of (joint) land titles, take up of a new credit line product, farm and off-farm investments, productivity, income, and women's empowerment.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
A total of 1,646 households in 378 communities were selected to be part of the study. The villages are located in four districts (Mbarara, Sheema, Buhweju, and Isingiro) in the Western Region of Uganda. To examine the standalone and complementary impacts of land titling and improved access to credit, a two-step randomization is followed. The first stage takes place at the village level: villages either receive an offer for a fully-subsidized land title or no offer. The second stage takes place at the household level within villages: households either receive a credit line offer or no offer.
To understand the take up and impact of joint land titles, villages assigned to receive the land titling intervention are further randomized into the following two treatments, fully crossed with each other. First, households in half of the villages receive the land title offer conditional on registering the wife as a co-owner of the land, and the other half receive the land title offer unconditionally. Second, households in half of the villages are provided with persuasive information about the benefits of female co-titling in addition to general information about titling, and the other half are provided with just general information about titling. Finally, within a selected set of villages assigned to the land titling intervention, in half of the households the intervention is targeted at husbands only, and in the other half it is targeted at both spouses.
Experimental Design Details
Village level randomization for the land titling intervention.
Household level randomization for the line of credit intervention.
Household level randomization for the incentives for joint titling.
Was the treatment clustered?
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Land Titling and Credit Line core treatment arms:
- Land Titles and Credit: 546 households and 253 villages
- Land Titles and No Credit: 546 households and 253 villages
- No Land Titles and Credit: 277 households and 125 villages
- No Land Titles and No Credit: 277 households and 125 villages
Gender Conditionality and Gender Information treatment arms:
- Unconditional Land Title Offer and General Information: 276 households and 63 communities - Conditional Land Title Offer and General Information: 268 households and 63 communities - Unconditional Land Title Offer and General+Gender Information: 269 households and 63 communities - Conditional land title offer and General+Gender Information: 279 households and 64 communities Targeting of Land Titling Intervention treatment arms:
- Husband only: 369 households and 170 villages
- Husband and wife: 369 households and 170 villages
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST)
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Mildmay Uganda Research Ethics Committee
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Innovations for Poverty Action IRB
IRB Approval Date