Skills, Partnerships and Tenancy in Sri Lankan Rice Farms
AbstractThis paper examines whether sharecroppers and fixed-rent tenants in the rice farms of South Asia are distinguished by their farming skills. The idea that fixed-rent contracts are typically given to relatively skilled tenants dates back to the agricultural (tenancy) ladder hypothesis of Spillman . The screening models [e.g. Hallagan 1978] that have attempted to formalize this idea assume that landlords do not observe the tenants' skill levels. This assumption is restrictive, and has found little support in empirical studies. The principal-agent model proposed in this paper focuses on the differences between time-intensive and skill- intensive labor tasks. I show that tenancy contracts are designed to match the provision of these tasks with the owners of time and skill inputs. Sharecropping, in this model, provides an incentive scheme that allows for the specialization between a time-abundant tenant and a skill-abundant landlord. The second part of the paper empirically explores this result with household-level data from Sri Lanka. A two-stage model that distinguishes the choice of contract from the extent of land leased is used. The results clearly show that relatively skilled farmers are more likely to become fixed-rent tenants. I also find that, conditional on contract choice, farming skills do not affect the extent of land leased. A substantial part of the empirical analysis is devoted to the measurement of farming skills. I interpret farming skills as the contribution of observed farmer characteristics to the technical efficiency of the farm. This measure recognizes that many dimensions of skills are observed, and the use of weights computed from a production function to construct the skill index is theoretically more appealing than the ad hoc selection of proxy variables.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Economic Growth Center, Yale University in its series Working Papers with number 819.
Length: 62 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2000
Date of revision:
Land Tenancy; Farming Skills; Agricultural Labor; Sri Lanka;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- O13 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
- O17 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
- D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
- Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
- Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- James A. Roumasset, 1993.
"The Nature of the Agricultural Firm,"
199317, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
- Meng, Chun-Lo & Schmidt, Peter, 1985. "On the Cost of Partial Observability in the Bivariate Probit Model," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 26(1), pages 71-85, February.
- Reifschneider, David & Stevenson, Rodney, 1991. "Systematic Departures from the Frontier: A Framework for the Analysis of Firm Inefficiency," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 32(3), pages 715-23, August.
- Kumbhakar, Subal C., 1987. "The specification of technical and allocative inefficiency in stochastic production and profit frontiers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 335-348, March.
- Rougoor, Carin W. & Trip, Ger & Huirne, Ruud B.M. & Renkema, Jan A., 1998. "How to define and study farmers' management capacity: theory and use in agricultural economics," Agricultural Economics: The Journal of the International Association of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 18(3), May.
- Rougoor, Carin W. & Trip, Ger & Huirne, Ruud B. M. & Renkema, Jan A., 1998. "How to define and study farmers' management capacity: theory and use in agricultural economics," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 18(3), pages 261-272, May.
- 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.
- Emmanuel Skoufias, 1995. "Household Resources, Transaction Costs, and Adjustment through Land Tenancy," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 71(1), pages 42-56.
- K. Kalirajan, 1981. "An Econometric Analysis of Yield Variability in Paddy Production," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 29(3), pages 283-294, November.
- Schmidt, Peter & Knox Lovell, C. A., 1979. "Estimating technical and allocative inefficiency relative to stochastic production and cost frontiers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 343-366, February.
- Pitt, Mark M. & Lee, Lung-Fei, 1981. "The measurement and sources of technical inefficiency in the Indonesian weaving industry," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 43-64, August.
- Bell, Clive, 1988. "Credit markets and interlinked transactions," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 16, pages 763-830 Elsevier.
- Aigner, Dennis & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Peter, 1977. "Formulation and estimation of stochastic frontier production function models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 21-37, July.
- Jondrow, James & Knox Lovell, C. A. & Materov, Ivan S. & Schmidt, Peter, 1982. "On the estimation of technical inefficiency in the stochastic frontier production function model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 233-238, August.
- Battese, G E & Coelli, T J, 1995. "A Model for Technical Inefficiency Effects in a Stochastic Frontier Production Function for Panel Data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 325-32.
- Kumbhakar, Subal C & Ghosh, Soumendra & McGuckin, J Thomas, 1991. "A Generalized Production Frontier Approach for Estimating Determinants of Inefficiency in U.S. Dairy Farms," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 9(3), pages 279-86, July.
- Bell, Clive & Zusman, Pinhas, 1976. "A Bargaining Theoretic Approach to Cropsharing Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(4), pages 578-88, September.
- Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1974.
"Incentives and Risk Sharing in Sharecropping,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(2), pages 219-55, April.
- Bliss, C. J. & Stern, N. H., 1982. "Palanpur: The Economy of an Indian Village," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198284192, September.
- Kumbhakar, Subal C., 1997. "Modeling allocative inefficiency in a translog cost function and cost share equations: An exact relationship," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1-2), pages 351-356.
- Pant, Chandrashekar, 1983. "Tenancy and family resources : A model and some empirical analysis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1-2), pages 27-39.
- Deininger, Klaus & Ali, Daniel Ayalew & Alemu, Tekie, 2011. "Productivity effects of land rental markets in Ethiopia : Evidence from a matched tenant-landlord sample," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5727, The World Bank.
- Deininger, Klaus & Jin, Songqing & Yadav, Vandana, 2012. "Does sharecropping affect productivity and long-term investment ? evidence from West Bengal's tenancy reforms," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6293, The World Bank.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Louise Danishevsky).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.