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Land Redistribution as Stock-Based Vote Buying


Land reform in Zimbabwe is a dramatic example of how the issue of agricultural land distribution governs a country’s political and economic development over several decades. Zimbabwe first experienced 20 years of moderate redistribution that eventually moved to a phase of massive redistribution in 2000. We see this as a result of the regime’s strategic use of land to assure political support. Massive and chaotic redistribution occurred when the regime realized that redistribution was the only option left to stay in power. Our study shows that the support for the regime indeed went up in wards that experienced land reform.

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