Multi-Task Sharecropping Contracts: The Italian Mezzadria
We use recent developments in the multi-task principal-agent methodology to study a sharecropping contract that was pervasive in central Italy. We distinguish between subsistence crops and cash crops. We analyse the spillover effect from one crop to the other, and we show that this reduces the ability of this sharecropping economy to adjust to a changed environment. We trace the effects of the changes in agricultural prices in the second half of the nineteenth century. Finally, we propose some explanation for the puzzling phenomenon of the reintroduction of many feudal clauses in the sharecropping contract when the rest of the Italian economy was beginning to modernize. Copyright 1996 by The London School of Economics and Political Science.
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Volume (Year): 63 (1996)
Issue (Month): 251 (August)
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