Development Workshop: Mesay Gebresilasse

Development Workshop: Mesay Gebresilasse

Thursday, October 27, 2022
4:15 pm - 5:45 pm

International Affairs Building, 420 W. 118 St., New York, NY 10027

Mesay Gebresilasse will present:

Resettlement, Agricultural Productivity and Rural Development


Over the next three decades, more than 150 million may be displaced due to climate-change induced adversities. Furthermore, planned resettlement programs are increasingly being considered as a way of mitigating the effects of climate change. Hence, understanding the impact of these resettlements on the socioeconomic outcomes of origin and destination locations is critical. In this paper, I examine the effects of large-scale out-migration on origin locations by studying a government-mandated resettlement program in Ethiopia that relocated close to 590,000 people between 1984-85. While the government planned to resettle over 1.5 million people from densely-populated and drought-prone areas, the resettlement was halted midway due to strong international opposition to the program. Using a difference-in-difference strategy that exploits the variations in resettlement across districts with similar drought exposures, I find that agricultural productivity, measured using crop specific yields, increases in districts with an out-resettled population. These effects persist for several years after the end of the resettlement program. Furthermore, the results suggest that improvements in land distribution following the resettlement program may have helped to increase agricultural productivity.