We explore the determinants of land titling by smallholder farmers in Zambia, and evaluate the impacts of titling on land productivity investments. We examine plot-level outcomes, and test for gendered differences in titling impacts. We find generally positive impacts of titling on investments, including strong gender-specific pathways of impact. Although female-headed households are less likely to make investments than male-headed households, female title holders are significantly more likely to make investments than male title holders (at least for labor intensive investments). We posit that these results are related to the systematically weaker rights of women in customary tenure systems, under which the security-enhancement of formal land title plays a relatively greater role in incentivizing long-term farm investments. Our results suggest the importance of facilitating access to titling mechanisms (and other tenure security mechanisms) by female farmers.


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