Coping with drought by adjusting land tenancy contracts: A model and evidence from rural Morocco

Yoko Kusunose, Travis J. Lybbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


We explore vulnerability to drought in Morocco by analyzing household coping responses to a severe drought. We find that nearly 25% of households increased or decreased their cultivated land via short-term land tenancy arrangements. We use this pattern to motivate a model in which drought shocks induce the reallocation within communities of usufruct rights to land. We show how different liquidity constraints can lead some households to invest in crop production as others divest. Empirical analysis finds some support for the model but also highlights how pre-existing tenancy arrangements strongly determine a household's reliance on land tenancy markets for coping.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-126
Number of pages13
JournalWorld Development
StatePublished - Sep 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was made possible by funding and support from ICARDA , CIMMYT , UC-Davis , and the Moroccan National Institute of Agronomic Research . We gratefully acknowledge the work and expertise of our research colleagues Aden Aw-Hassan, Rachid Mrabet, Aziz Fadlaoui, Moha Ferrahi, Abderrahim Bentaibi, Nick Magnan, and the late Erika Meng. This work has also benefited greatly from the insight and many comments that we have received from our three anonymous reviewers.


  • Asset dynamics
  • Drought
  • Land tenancy
  • Morocco
  • North Africa
  • Risk sharing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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