The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper is the first to provide both theoretical and empirical evidence of farmland
globalization whereby international investors directly acquire large tracts of agricultural land
in other countries. A theoretical framework explains the geography of farmland acquisitions
as a function of cross-country differences in technology, endowments, trade costs, and land
governance. An empirical test of the model using global data on transnational deals shows that
international farmland investments are on the aggregate likely motivated by re-exports to
investor countries rather than to world markets. This contrasts with traditional foreign direct
investment patterns where horizontal as opposed to vertical FDI dominates.