Land Policies and Labour Markets in Sub‐Saharan Africa: A Law and Economics Analysis

Luis Tomás Montilla Fernández
Volume 43 Issue 6
Published: 01 November 2012
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1759-5436.2012.00381.x
Abstract: This article examines foreign agricultural investment contracts and their potential to contribute to alleviating unemployment and underemployment particularly of young people in sub‐Saharan Africa. This investment trend has accelerated rapidly since the 2008 food crisis to over 56 million hectares. Law and economics methodologies are applied to analyse this phenomenon. The article outlines the labour market situation in sub‐Saharan Africa and investment policies in agriculture. Public choice theory is applied to understand why agricultural projects are producing unintended negative effects. This article also analyses signed contracts to evaluate whether they can improve the actual labour market situation. It found that it is not possible, from the rational theory viewpoint, that such instruments will contribute to the creation of new jobs for the local youth and promote development. It contends that effective national and international legal institutions need to be created to enforce social clauses with strong participation of local youth and their representatives.
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From Issue: Vol 43, No 6 (2012) | Young People and Agriculture in Africa