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Evidence on the Incentive Properties of Share Contracts

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  • Luis H. B. Braido

Abstract

Ever since Adam Smith, share contracts have been condemned for their lack of incentives. Sharecropping tenants face incentives to undersupply productive inputs since they receive only a fraction of the marginal revenue. The empirical literature reports that lands under sharecropping are indeed less productive and employ inputs less intensively than those operated by owners. This paper shows that (1) sharecropping and fixed-rent tenancy are both associated with low-quality lands, (2) plots under sharecropping and fixed rent present (on average) the same unconditional productivity, (3) controlling for observed land quality and input use, their average productivities are also identical to those of owner-operated plots, and (4) the input choices satisfy the same profit maximization conditions for all land contracts. These results challenge the conventional wisdom connecting sharecropping to incentive distortions. They support an alternative view that farmers optimally employ more input resources into good-quality lands, which are typically managed by owners. (c) 2008 byThe University of Chicago. All rights reserved..

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal The Journal of Law and Economics.

Volume (Year): 51 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (05)
Pages: 327-349

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:51:y:2008:i:2:p:327-349

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  1. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Paul J. Gertler & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2002. "Empowerment and Efficiency: Tenancy Reform in West Bengal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 239-280, April.
  2. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1983. "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(1), pages 7-45, January.
  3. Bengt Holmstrom, 1997. "Moral Hazard and Observability," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1205, David K. Levine.
  4. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Matoussi, Mohamed Salah, 1995. "Moral Hazard, Financial Constraints and Sharecropping in El Oulja," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(3), pages 381-99, July.
  5. Jacoby, Hanan G. & Li, Guo & Rozelle, Scott, 2002. "Hazards Of Expropriation:Tenure Insecurity And Investment In Rural China," Working Papers 11960, University of California, Davis, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
  6. Radner, Roy, 1981. "Monitoring Cooperative Agreements in a Repeated Principal-Agent Relationship," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(5), pages 1127-48, September.
  7. Pierre Dubois, 1999. "Moral Hazard, Land Fertility and Sharecropping in a Rural Area of the Philippines," Working Papers 99-30, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  8. D. Gale Johnson, 1950. "Resource Allocation under Share Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58, pages 111.
  9. Hodges, Dorothy J, 1969. "A Note on Estimation of Cobb-Douglas and CES Production Function Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(4), pages 721-25, October.
  10. Douglas W. Allen & Dean Lueck, 1993. "Transaction Costs and the Design of Cropshare Contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 24(1), pages 78-100, Spring.
  11. Luis H. B. Braido, 2003. "Insurance and Incentives in Sharecropping," CESifo Working Paper Series 1098, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. Shaban, Radwan Ali, 1987. "Testing between Competing Models of Sharecropping," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(5), pages 893-920, October.
  13. Bandiera, Oriana, 2002. "Land Distribution, Incentives and the Choice of Production Techniques in Nicaragua," CEPR Discussion Papers 3141, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Jacoby, Hanan G. & Mansuri, Ghazala, 2006. "Incomplete contracts and investment : a study of land tenancy in Pakistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3826, The World Bank.
  15. Mundlak, Yair, 1996. "Production Function Estimation: Reviving the Primal," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(2), pages 431-38, March.
  16. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1974. "Incentives and Risk Sharing in Sharecropping," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(2), pages 219-55, April.
  17. Rubinstein, Ariel & Yaari, Menahem E., 1983. "Repeated insurance contracts and moral hazard," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 74-97, June.
  18. Allen, Douglas & Lueck, Dean, 1992. "Contract Choice in Modern Agriculture: Cash Rent versus Cropshare," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(2), pages 397-426, October.
  19. Radner, Roy, 1985. "Repeated Principal-Agent Games with Discounting," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(5), pages 1173-98, September.
  20. Rao, C H Hanumantha, 1971. "Uncertainty, Entrepreneurship, and Sharecropping in India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(3), pages 578-95, May-June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Pranab Bardhan & Dilip Mookherjee, 2007. "Land Reform And Farm Productivity In West Bengal," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-163, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  2. Luis H. B. Braido, 2003. "Insurance and Incentives in Sharecropping," CESifo Working Paper Series 1098, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Bellemare, Marc F., 2010. "Insecure Land Rights and Share Tenancy in Madagascar," MPRA Paper 23640, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Ndoye Niane, Aifa Fatimata & Burger, Kees & Bulte, Erwin H., 2010. "Horticultural Households Profit Optimization and the Efficiency of Labour Contract Choice," 2010 AAAE Third Conference/AEASA 48th Conference, September 19-23, 2010, Cape Town, South Africa 95776, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE);Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA).
  5. Franken, Jason R.V. & Pennings, Joost M.E. & Garcia, Philip, 2012. "Measuring Risk Attitude and Relation to Marketing Behavior," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124471, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  6. Luis H.B. Braido, 2005. "Risk and Insurance in Sharecropping," Risk and Insurance 0508002, EconWPA.

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