This paper uses as a point of departure the extensive soil erosion problems in the highland area of Western Tanzania. The first part of the paper focuses on the ongoing debate on land reforms in Tanzania, particularly the question of state, village or private land ownership. In the second part, a microeconomic model of farm decision-making is developed, where the focus is on two factors which are important to the magnitude of soil erosion: (i) existing intensity of production (overexploitation of land), and (ii) investments in soil conservation. We also develop a model to study migration to/from the highlands, and thereby the impact of different property regimes and other economic factors on soil erosion.

Odd-Helge Fjeldstad

Research Professor, Coordinator: Tax and Public Finance