How does population density influence agricultural intensification and productivity? Evidence from Malawi.


This article uses nationally representative household-level panel data from Malawi to estimate how rural population density impacts agricultural intensification and household well-being. We find that areas of higher population density are associated with smaller farm sizes, lower real agricultural wage rates, and higher real maize prices. Any input intensification that occurs seems to be going to increasing maize yields, as we find no evidence that increases in population density enable farmers to increase gross value of crop output per hectare. We also find evidence that households in more densely populated areas increasingly rely on off-farm income to earn a living, but there appears to be a rural population density threshold beyond which households can no longer increase off-farm income per capita.

Publication Author(s): Ricker-Gilberta, Jacob & Charles Jumbe & Jordan Chamberlin.

Publication Date: April 24, 2014

Citation: Food Policy 48, pp. 114–128

Publication Link: See Here