Notional contracts: The Moral economy of contract farming arrangements in India
AbstractThis study examines the moral economy of firm-farmer contracts in contract farming schemes in India, bringing together data from field surveys, conducted between 2007 and 2010, of 42 agribusinesses and 484 contract farmers from multiple commodity sectors. The central argument of this paper is that contract farming relationships in India are seen more as relationships and less as contracts, with formal enforcement mechanisms playing only a peripheral role in maintaining and supporting transactions. This is related only in part to the costs and inefficacy of formal enforcement mechanisms. Both firms and farmers prefer to operate outside the prescribed legal-institutional structure whenever these structures are perceived to undermine the handshake ethic. The findings indicate that state policies that presume legal institutional development to be necessary and sufficient for promoting agribusiness interaction with farmers might be misplaced if not merely ineffective.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India in its series Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers with number 2012-020.
Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision:
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contract farming; private enforcement; moral economy; legal institutions; agriculture;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- K49 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Other
- L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGR-2012-10-20 (Agricultural Economics)
- NEP-ALL-2012-10-20 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEV-2012-10-20 (Development)
- NEP-LAW-2012-10-20 (Law & Economics)
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