Ph.D. Student

  diane.cachau AT u-bordeaux DOT fr


I am a PhD student in development economics from the University of Bordeaux. My research focused on urban informal economy and more specifically on the self-employed and how land tenure insecurity affects their investment choices and economic performances.


Cities in developing countries, and more particularly in Africa, are growing at an unprecedented rate. The creation and densification of slums are the embodiment of this unplanned urban development, which is a source of health, economic and social issues. Land reforms have been carried out in developing countries since the day after independence, but have mainly focused on rural areas. The urgency of planning now extends land issues to urban areas. However, while the effects of land reform in were expected to have an impact on agricultural performance and productivity in rural areas, little attention was paid to its effects on the economic performances of productive activities in urban areas. Insofar as the informal economy represents up to one third of GDP and 70% of total employment in developing countries, where more than half of which is in the form of self-employment, and as a large proportion of these informal production units are located in precarious neighborhoods, urban land planning cannot be carried out without consequences for these small productive activities.

This thesis seeks to identify the nature of insecurity in IPUs and its role in their economic performances in the specific context of two growing precarious neighborhoods in Antananarivo, Madagascar. Based on a mixed method approach combining original data collection from 500 entrepreneurs in 2021 and qualitative interviews conducted in 2022, my work seeks to investigate the following questions: i) what is the influence of the household's land tenure status on entrepreneurs' occupational and land tenure choices? ii) what is the nature of entrepreneurs' land tenure insecurity and how the three forms (legal, defacto, perceived) of tenure insecurity interact? iii) how land tenure insecurity affects entrepreneurs' investment choices and economic performance?

Member of the research project: