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Estudio del agente-principal en la agricultura


  • Fernández Olmos, Marta

    (Universidad de Zaragoza)

  • Marín Vinuesa, Luz María

    (Universidad de La Rioja)


Should a landlord adopt a wage labor, a crop sharing or a fixed-payment land rental contract with a particular tenant? The emergence of the agency theory to the contract choice in the 1970s and 1980s has generated a substantial body of theoretical and empirical research on why and under what conditions each contract is chosen. This paper reviews the literature on the contractual arrangements in agriculture, focusing on the principal-agent theory. After reviewing the agency theory we provide a synthesis and integration of the main contributions to contract choice in agriculture, highlighting current controversies over results. We find this theory provides a coherent and useful framework to answer sharecropping questions, but we also observe that there is weak empirical support for many of the central tenets of agency theory that need to be addressed. Finally, we discuss the implications of these issues and outlining directions for future theoretical and empirical work.// ¿Con qué tipo de contrato debería un terrateniente arrendar sus tierras a un agricultor dado: trabajo asalariado, aparcería o renta fija? El surgimiento de la teoría de agencia aplicado a la selección contractual en los decenios de los setenta y ochenta del siglo pasado ha generado abundante bibliografía que persigue explicar por qué y en qué condiciones se selecciona cada contrato. El presente artículo examina la bibliografía de los acuerdos contractuales en la agricultura, centrándose en la teoría del principal-agente. Después de analizar la teoría de agencia, se proporciona una síntesis de las principales aportaciones a la selección contractual y se subraya las principales controversias de los resultados. Encontramos que esta teoría proporciona un marco coherente y útil para responder los interrogantes que plantea la aparcería, pero también observamos que existe poco apoyo empírico en muchos aspectos clave de la teoría de agencia que requieren abordarse. Por último, tratamos las consecuencias de estos aspectos y subrayamos las direcciones para futuras investigaciones.

Suggested Citation

  • Fernández Olmos, Marta & Marín Vinuesa, Luz María, 2009. "Estudio del agente-principal en la agricultura," El Trimestre Económico, Fondo de Cultura Económica, vol. 0(304), pages 941-964, octubre-d.
  • Handle: RePEc:elt:journl:v:76:y:2009:i:304:p:941-964

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    Principal-Agent theory; sharecropping; contract choice; teoría del principal agente; aparcería; selección contractual;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design


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