IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Inefficacité marshallienne, partage de coûts et modèles contractuels avec marchés manquants


  • Ai, Chunrong

    (Département d’économie, Université de la Floride)

  • Arcand, Jean-Louis

    (Centre de recherche et développement en économique (C.R.D.E.), Université de Montréal)

  • Éthier, François

    (Centre de recherche en économie agroalimentaire (CRÉA), Université Laval)


When moral hazard concerns are present, standard contract theory predicts the "Marshallian inefficiency" of sharecropping contracts, in the sense that, ceteris paribus, sharecropping tenants will use different amounts of inputs than owner operators. In this paper, we examine this issue using a unique dataset collected in 1993 in the Tunisian village of El Oulja, thanks to the financial support of the PARADI program. We focus our attention on four questions that have been neglected by previous studies, namely: (1) cost sharing between landlords and tenants; (2) management inputs provided by landlords; (3) direct supervision of tenants by landlords; (4) repeated interaction between landlords and tenants. We implement panel estimation with household-specific fixed effects and control for the censoring of the dependent variable using the trimmed LAD estimator proposed by Honoré (1992). Our empirical results show that moral hazard is indeed an issue in tenancy contracts in the village, but that its quantitative importance in determining input use, in comparison with other factors, is relatively small. It follows that sharecropping is probably not chosen because of moral hazard concerns, and that other motivations, such as risk sharing or transaction costs, may be more important determinants of contractual choice. En présence de risque moral, la théorie des contrats prédit que le métayage sera assujetti au problème de l’inefficacité marshallienne, ce qui veut dire que les métayers utiliseront des quantités d’intrants différents sur les terres qu’ils exploitent par opposition aux propriétaires exploitants. Dans cet article, nous examinons cette question à l’aide d’une base de données unique en son genre collectée en 1993 dans le village tunisien d’El Oulja, grâce au financement du programme PARADI. Nous examinons quatre questions jusqu’à présent ignorées par les chercheurs : (1) le partage des coûts entre propriétaires et tenanciers; (2) les intrants en gestion fournis par les propriétaires; (3) la supervision des tenanciers par les propriétaires; (4) l’interaction répétée entre propriétaires et tenanciers. Nous utilisons des méthodes économétriques en panel avec effets fixes et en tobit en utilisant la méthode du trimmed LAD proposée par Honoré (1992). Nos résultats empiriques appuient l’argument selon lequel le risque moral est présent dans les relations contractuelles dans ce village. Par contre, l’importance quantitative des termes des contrats dans la détermination de l’utilisation des intrants, ainsi que de l’output, est relativement limitée. Il s’ensuit que le métayage est probablement choisi pour des raisons autres que le risque moral, telles que le partage du risque ou les coûts de transaction.

Suggested Citation

  • Ai, Chunrong & Arcand, Jean-Louis & Éthier, François, 1998. "Inefficacité marshallienne, partage de coûts et modèles contractuels avec marchés manquants," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 74(3), pages 315-341, septembre.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:actuec:v:74:y:1998:i:3:p:315-341

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Douglas W. Allen & Dean Lueck, 1993. "Transaction Costs and the Design of Cropshare Contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 24(1), pages 78-100, Spring.
    3. Alston, Lee J & Datta, Samar K & Nugent, Jeffrey B, 1984. "Tenancy Choice in a Competitive Framework with Transactions Costs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(6), pages 1121-1133, December.
    4. Powell, James L, 1986. "Symmetrically Trimmed Least Squares Estimation for Tobit Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(6), pages 1435-1460, November.
    5. Quibria, M. G. & Rashid, Salim, 1984. "The puzzle of sharecropping: A survey of theories," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 103-114, February.
    6. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1983. "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(1), pages 7-45, January.
    7. Otsuka, Keijiro & Hayami, Yujiro, 1988. "Theories of Share Tenancy: A Critical Survey," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(1), pages 31-68, October.
    8. Bardhan, Pranab K, 1973. "Size, Productivity, and Returns to Scale: An Analysis of Farm-Level Data in Indian Agriculture," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(6), pages 1370-1386, Nov.-Dec..
    9. 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.
    10. Earl O. Heady, 1955. "Marginal Resource Productivity and Imputation of Shares for a Sample of Rented Farms," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63, pages 500-500.
    11. Honore, Bo E, 1992. "Trimmed LAD and Least Squares Estimation of Truncated and Censored Regression Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(3), pages 533-565, May.
    12. Sen, Abhijit, 1981. "Market Failure and Control of Labour Power: Towards an Explanation of 'Structure' and Change in Indian Agriculture. Part 2," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(4), pages 327-350, December.
    13. Ransom, Roger L. & Sutch, Richard, 1973. "The Ex-Slave in the Post-Bellum South: A Study of the Economic Impact of Racism in a Market Environment," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 33(01), pages 131-148, March.
    14. Jaynes, Gerald David, 1982. "Production and Distribution in Agrarian Economies," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(2), pages 346-367, July.
    15. D. Gale Johnson, 1950. "Resource Allocation under Share Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58, pages 111-111.
    16. Allen, D. & Lueck, D., 1994. "Risk, Uncertainty and Contracts," Discussion Papers dp94-08, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
    17. Kutcher, Gary P. & Scandizzo, Pasquale L., 1976. "A partial analysis of sharetenancy relationships in Northeast Brazil," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 343-354, December.
    18. Bliss, C. J. & Stern, N. H., 1982. "Palanpur: The Economy of an Indian Village," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198284192.
    19. Alston, Lee J. & Higgs, Robert, 1982. "Contractual Mix in Southern Agriculture since the Civil War: Facts, Hypotheses, and Tests," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 42(02), pages 327-353, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Arcand, Jean-Louis & Ai, Chunrong & Ethier, Francois, 2007. "Moral hazard and Marshallian inefficiency: Evidence from Tunisia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 411-445, July.
    2. Rambonilaza, Mbolatiana, 2004. "Normes sociales et productivité dans le processus d’appariement des contrats agricoles," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 80(4), pages 571-592, Décembre.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ris:actuec:v:74:y:1998:i:3:p:315-341. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bruce Shearer). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.