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Large-scale foreign land acquisitions (LSFLAs) are proving to be one of the most contested aspects of globalization and development.
On the one hand proponents claim these investments will boost productivity and provide badly-needed growth in poor rural areas. On the other hand critics claim poor rural populations are losing access to land, water and other natural resources, while facing increased food prices due to a shift toward export-oriented agricultural production.
To date there has been little quantitative empirical evidence to assess the net impacts of LSFLAs on rural populations. The current study uses World Bank household survey panel data for Tanzania to provide such evidence. Broadly speaking, our results support the more pessimistic view that is also common in the qualitative literature on the topic.