The economic effects of the comprehensive agrarian reform program in the Philippines

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One of the major interventions to effect rural development in the Philippines is the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, which was instituted in 1988 and its implementation is extended until 2014. Using a panel data from a series of surveys (1990, 2000, and 2006), the economic impacts of the Program were evaluated. Using income, expressed in real terms, as the main economic indicator, the analyses showed that there have been significant positive changes to the economic well being of the beneficiaries of the Program using the first difference between the intervention and the control group. The first difference was also significant across time or on the before and after the program comparison. However, the double difference approach, which compared the control group before and the intervention group after revealed that the changes in economic benefits were no longer significant. One could argue that the changes on the economic attributes of the respondents are not necessarily attributable to CARP as an intervention. However, the Program needs to be given the benefit of the doubt. Hence, there is the need to look at further refining analytical techniques to isolate the effects of the intervention and to develop analytical tools based on a more systematic study design. Further, the paper also examined the effect of the program using alternative indicators, such as the value of assets as well as level of expenditures. The results did not deviate from the findings with income as the main indicator, which indicate that these alternate indicators can also be explored in similar studies.

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... While only two studies assessed the effect of land formalisation interventions on productivity and found mixed results, none of the five studies that investigated income changes found a positive effect. This finding again applies across different regional settings, including two studies from Peru (Zegarra et al., 2008;Nakasone, 2011) and one each from India (Santos et al., 2014), the Philippines (Gordoncillo, 2012), and Vietnam (Kemper et al., 2015). ...
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