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The Nature of the Farm: Contracts, Risk, and Organization in Agriculture

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Author Info

  • Douglas W. Allen

    ()
    (Simon Fraser University)

  • Dean Lueck

    ()
    (University of Arizona)

Abstract

The Nature of the Farm is a theoretical and empirical study of contracts and organization in agriculture based on the transaction cost framework. Transaction costs are important in agriculture because nature (for example, seasonality, weather, pests) plays such a critical role in determining output and limiting the ability of farmers to specialize. The book develops specific models and tests the implications of those models against data sets from across North American agriculture, as well as against historical case studies such as eighteenth-century European land contracts and the late nineteenth-century Bonanza farms in the United States. The book is organized in three parts. Part I examines the classic question of what determines the optimal choice between fixed rent and cropshare arrangements, concluding that it is determined by a trade-off between incentives to overuse rented land and incentives to underreport shared output. Part II tests several predictions derived from a standard risk-sharing model of contracts and finds little evidence that risk sharing is important in contract choice. Part III extends the transaction costs analysis to broader organizational issues. It introduces seasonality and timeliness costs as forces influencing the gains from specialization and the costs of contracting, and finds that farm ownership and farm organization are routinely shaped by these forces.

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Bibliographic Info

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This book is provided by The MIT Press in its series MIT Press Books with number 0262511851 and published in 2004.

Volume: 1
Edition: 1
ISBN: 0-262-51185-1
Handle: RePEc:mtp:titles:0262511851

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Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu

Related research

Keywords: transaction cost framework; agriculture;

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Cited by:
  1. Hahlbrock, Konstantin & Hockmann, Heinrich, 2011. "Does Group Affiliation Increase Productivity And Efficiency In Russia’S Agriculture? Evidence From Agroholdings In The Belgorod Oblast," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland, European Association of Agricultural Economists 114579, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  2. Luis H.B. Braido, 2005. "Risk and Insurance in Sharecropping," Risk and Insurance, EconWPA 0508002, EconWPA.
  3. Ratinger, Tomas & Foltyn, Ivan & Jelinek, Ladislav & Kristkova, Zuzana, 2012. "Distributional effects and structural change induced by various CAP Pillar 1 proposals; the case of the Czech Republic," 126th Seminar, June 27-29, 2012, Capri, Italy, European Association of Agricultural Economists 126221, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  4. L. Amblard & J.P. Colin, 2008. "Reverse tenancy in Romania: Actors' rationales and equity outcomes," Post-Print hal-00454533, HAL.
  5. Lerman, Zvi & Sutton, William R., 2006. "Productivity and Efficiency of Small and Large Farms in Moldova," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association) 21085, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  6. Lerman, Zvi & Sedik, David J., 2009. "Sources of Agricultural Productivity Growth in Central Asia," 2009 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, 2009, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association 49312, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  7. Kirwan, Barrett E. & Roberts, Michael J., 2010. "Who Really Benefits from Agricultural Subsidies? Evidence from Field-Level Data," 2010 Annual Meeting, July 25-27, 2010, Denver, Colorado, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association 62028, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  8. Petrick, Martin, 2008. "Theoretical and methodological topics in the institutional economics of European agriculture. With applications to farm organisation and rural credit arrangements," Studies on the Agricultural and Food Sector in Central and Eastern Europe, Leib­niz Institute of Agricultural Development in Central and Eastern Europe (IAMO), volume 45, number 92318.
  9. Akramov, Kamiljon T. & Omuraliev, Nurbek, 2009. "Institutional change, rural services, and agricultural performance in Kyrgyzstan:," IFPRI discussion papers, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) 904, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  10. Rachael Goodhue & Dale Heien & Hyunok Lee & Daniel Sumner, 2003. "Contracts and Quality in the California Winegrape Industry," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 267-282, December.
  11. Seo, Sangtaek & Leatham, David J. & Mitchell, Paul D., 2003. "Risk Sharing and Incentives with Crop Insurance and External Equity Financing," Proceedings: 2003 Regional Committee NCT-194, October 6-7, 2003; Kansas City, Missouri, Regional Research Committee NC-1014: Agricultural and Rural Finance Markets in Transition 132523, Regional Research Committee NC-1014: Agricultural and Rural Finance Markets in Transition.
  12. MacDonald, James M. & Perry, Janet E. & Ahearn, Mary Clare & Banker, David E. & Chambers, William & Dimitri, Carolyn & Key, Nigel D. & Nelson, Kenneth E. & Southard, Leland W., 2004. "Contracts, Markets, and Prices: Organizing the Production and Use of Agricultural Commodities," Agricultural Economics Reports, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service 34013, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  13. Fragkandreas, Thanos & Larsen, Karin, 2009. "Social Capital and Economic Performance: some lessons from Farm Partnerships in Sweden," MPRA Paper 17916, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. Duvaleix-Treguer, Sabine & Gaigne, Carl, 2012. "Cost Economies in Hog Production: Feed prices matter," Working Papers, Structure and Performance of Agriculture and Agri-products Industry (SPAA) 125261, Structure and Performance of Agriculture and Agri-products Industry (SPAA).
  15. MacDonald, James M., 2011. "Why Are Farms Getting Larger? The Case Of The U.S," 51st Annual Conference, Halle, Germany, September 28-30, 2011, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA) 115361, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA).

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