Village Fairness Norms and Land Rental Markets

82 Pages Posted: 24 Sep 2021

See all articles by Kwabena Krah

Kwabena Krah

Center for Global Development

Annemie Maertens

University of Sussex

Wezi Mhango

Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Hope Michelson

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Vesall Nourani

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Date Written: August 23, 2021

Abstract



This paper documents the role of village fairness norms in land markets. We establish a strong and robust relationship between experimentally elicited village-level fairness norms and land rental markets across 250 villages in Malawi. Stronger fairness norms correlate with a tighter range in rental rates. Fairness norms for tenants predominate and land-rental price ranges tend to be constrained through a price ceiling. Strong norms correlate with reduced market participation of landlords, and rented-in fields are of lower agronomic quality than owner-cultivated fields. Using nationally-representative secondary data we show that land rental rate adjustments to weather shocks are confined to villages where evidence suggests fairness norms are weak.

Keywords: fairness norms, land rental, land markets, Sub-Saharan Africa, Malawi

JEL Classification: D63, D71, O12, Q13, Q15

Suggested Citation

Krah, Kwabena and Maertens, Annemie and Mhango, Wezi and Michelson, H.C. and Nourani, Vesall, Village Fairness Norms and Land Rental Markets (August 23, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3910008 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3910008

Kwabena Krah (Contact Author)

Center for Global Development ( email )

2055 L St. NW
5th floor
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United States

Annemie Maertens

University of Sussex ( email )

Sussex House
Falmer
Brighton, Sussex BNI 9RH
United Kingdom

Wezi Mhango

Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources ( email )

Malawi

H.C. Michelson

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ( email )

601 E John St
Champaign, IL 61820
United States

Vesall Nourani

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ( email )

77 Massachusetts Avenue
50 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
United States

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