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Explaining Agricultural and Agrarian Policies in Developing Countries


  • Hans P. Binswanger
  • Klaus Deininger


The paper describes and, as far as possible, explains variations in policies, programs, and institutions that influence agricultural growth, agrarian relations, and rural welfare across developing countries and over time. It evaluates the impact of distorted policy patterns on agricultural production and rural poverty and identifies conditions under which policy reforms meant to bring about greater efficiency and equity are likely to be initiated and sustained. It draws upon a broad range of literature to show how material conditions, missing markets, and government policies affect static welfare outcomes, patterns of accumulation, state formation, and the establishment of political institutions. It suggests ways to improve policy advice and proposes directions for future research.

Suggested Citation

  • Hans P. Binswanger & Klaus Deininger, 1997. "Explaining Agricultural and Agrarian Policies in Developing Countries," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(4), pages 1958-2005, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:35:y:1997:i:4:p:1958-2005

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bruce C. Greenwald & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1993. "Financial Market Imperfections and Business Cycles," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(1), pages 77-114.
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    6. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1991. " The Theory of Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(1), pages 297-355, March.
    7. Berglof Erik & Roland Gerard, 1995. "Bank Restructuring and Soft Budget Constraints in Financial Transition," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 354-375, December.
    8. Steven M. Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 1988. "Financing Constraints and Corporate Investment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(1), pages 141-206.
    9. Schiantarelli, Fabio, 1996. "Financial Constraints and Investment: Methodological Issues and International Evidence," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 70-89, Summer.
    10. Cornelli, F. & Portes, R. & Schaffer, M., 1996. "The Capital Structure of Firms in Central and Eastern Europe," DELTA Working Papers 96-05, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
    11. Schaffer, Mark E., 1998. "Do Firms in Transition Economies Have Soft Budget Constraints? A Reconsideration of Concepts and Evidence," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 80-103, March.
    12. Michael Devereux & Fabio Schiantarelli, 1990. "Investment, Financial Factors, and Cash Flow: Evidence from U.K. Panel Data," NBER Chapters,in: Asymmetric Information, Corporate Finance, and Investment, pages 279-306 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Rajan, Raghuram G & Zingales, Luigi, 1995. " What Do We Know about Capital Structure? Some Evidence from International Data," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(5), pages 1421-1460, December.
    14. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1989. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 14-31, March.
    15. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
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