Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Rent-seeking behaviour and its economic costs in urban land transactions in Accra, Ghana.

Adams, John


John Adams


The existing body of knowledge attributes to informal land transactions in sub-Saharan African cities observed problems in city neighbourhoods. Substantial resources, often backed by donor agencies, are therefore being spent in revamping bureaux and governmental bodies in a bid to solve the problems. This paper examines the economic impacts of this aspect of market intervention. Employing insights from rent-seeking theory, it estimates costs brought to bear on agents by government agencies' involvement in the urban land market of Accra, Ghana. The sum of these wasteful diversions of resources is found to explain a great deal of the haphazard developments that have come to characterise many neighbourhoods in the city. Market-led regulation emerges as the needed focus of future land policy and management strategy. Towards this, the paper calls for the removal of existing unwarranted market interventions and the reorganisation of responsible bureaux in ways that would induce them to operate efficiently.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2003-09
Deposit Date Feb 1, 2008
Print ISSN 0042-0980
Electronic ISSN 1360-063X
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 40
Issue 10
Pages 2083-2098
Keywords Economic costs; Urban land transactions; Accra; Ghana; Rental market;
Public URL
Publisher URL