Adaptation to natural disasters through the agricultural land rental market: evidence from Bangladesh

Produced as part of the Adaptation to climate change and human development CCCEP research programme theme

We examine the effects of natural disaster exposure on agricultural households who simultaneously make rent-in and rent-out decisions in the land rental market. Our econometric approach accounts for the effects of disaster exposure both on the adjustments in the quantity of operated land (i.e. extensive margin) and agricultural yield conditional on the land quantity adjustments (i.e. intensive margin), based on selectivity-corrected samples of rental market participants. Employing a household survey dataset from Bangladesh, we find that farmers were able to ameliorate their losses from exposure to disasters by optimizing their operational farm size through participation in the land rental market. These results are robust to alternative specifications. This suggests that the land rental market may be an effective instrument reducing disaster risk, and post-disaster policies should take into account this role more systematically.

This paper is part of the Pathways to Resilience in Semi-arid Economies project.