Natalia Labrador*, Bakhtawar Ali**

Internal seminars
phd seminar

Natalia Labrador*, Bakhtawar Ali**

Weather shocks and delegation of authority in agricultural decision making: Evidence from Malawi*
Reform Multiplier**
Joint with
Habiba Djebbari*
Sultan Mehmood**

IBD Salle 21

Îlot Bernard du Bois - Salle 21

5-9 boulevard Maurice Bourdet
13001 Marseille

Tuesday, February 27 2024| 11:00am to 12:30pm

Lucie Giorgi: lucie.giorgi[at]
Ricardo Guzman: ricardo.guzman[at]
Natalia Labrador: natalia.labrador-bernate[at]
Nathan Vieira: nathan.vieira[at]


*Extreme weather events are increasing due to climate change, leading subsistence farmers to adopt coping strategies such as non-farm labor provision or temporary migration to diversify income sources. We examine a new coping strategy: the partial delegation of management rights from the landowner to the land manager. We hypothesize that the landowner's choice of who manages the land changes when households experience drought or excess rainfall. Our analysis is based on plot-level data from a panel of farming households with spouses in Malawi spanning from 2013 to 2019. We find evidence that women sole owners are 6.9 percentage points less likely to delegate management rights to their spouses when a drought occurs. Additionally, matrilineal women landowners and patrilineal men landowners, individuals with greater security in property rights, concentrate agricultural decision-making on their own (showing less delegation) during droughts. Both findings are consistent with the fact that landless matrilineal men and landless patrilineal women (the spouses) are more likely to work outside agriculture in response to drought, reflecting occupational diversification at the household level. Our results highlight the interplay of cultural norms and agricultural decision-making on the impact of drought.

**How and when does a reform trigger a cascading effect? This paper provides evidence that a judge selection reform in Pakistan, which shifted the appointment power of judges from the government to a committee of judges, had a multiplier effect on anti-government rulings in the decade following its implementation. As the first generation of committee-appointed judges (first-degree of separation from the government) is replaced by the second generation of committee appointees (second-degree of separation from the government), the reform's effect compounds. Nevertheless, as the reform amplifies anti-government rulings, it also increases the concentration of judges hired from a few select law firms. Despite the rise in judges hiring their former colleagues from law firms where they previously practiced as attorneys, there is no observable decline in the quality of judicial decisions. Rulings based on case merits and adherence to due process of law rise with each degree of separation from government appointments. Committee-appointed judge hiring panel attracting talent from top law schools—selection effects—emerge as a key contributor behind the reform multiplier effect. Overall, our results underscore that measures increasing the independence of the judiciary can have enduring positive effects on judicial autonomy and decision quality, even when they concurrently alter the composition of the judicial elite by making it concentrated.