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Empowerment and Efficiency: Tenancy Reform in West Bengal

  • Abhijit V. Banerjee
  • Paul J. Gertler
  • Maitreesh Ghatak

The paper analyzes the effect of agricultural tenancy laws offering security of tenure to tenants and regulating the share of output that is paid as rent on farm productivity. Theoretically, the net impact of tenancy reform is shown to be a combination of two effects: a bargaining power effect and a security of tenure effect. Analysis of evidence on how contracts and productivity changed after a tenancy reform program was implemented in the Indian state of West Bengal in the late 1970s suggests that tenancy reform had a positive effect on agricultural productivity there.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/338744
File Function: main text
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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 110 (2002)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 239-280

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:110:y:2002:i:2:p:239-280
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JPE/

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  1. Eswaran, Mukesh & Kotwal, Ashok, 1985. "A Theory of Contractual Structure in Agriculture," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 352-67, June.
  2. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061414, March.
  3. Rawal, Vikas, 2001. "Agrarian Reform and Land Markets: A Study of Land Transactions in Two Villages of West Bengal, 1977-1995," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(3), pages 611-29, April.
  4. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Mohamed Salah Matoussi, 1995. "Moral Hazard, Financial Constraints and Sharecropping in El Oulja," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(3), pages 381-399.
  5. Dilip Mookherjee & Debraj Ray, 2002. "Contractual Structure and Wealth Accumulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 818-849, September.
  6. D. Gale Johnson, 1950. "Resource Allocation under Share Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58, pages 111.
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