IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Realizing Efficient Use And Conservation Of Land Under Private Ownership: A Rebutment To Nobel Economics Laureate Theodore W. Schultz

Listed author(s):
  • Zhou, Jian-Ming
Registered author(s):

    Rebutting Theodore W. Schultz's assertions that small farmers are rational, low income countries saddled with traditional agriculture have not the problem of many farmers leaving agriculture for nonfarm jobs, part-time farming is efficient, and economies of scale have no logical basis and not stood the test of time, this paper presents that in (1) the low income countries still saddled with traditional agriculture, (2) the low income countries developing towards the high income economy, and (3) the high income countries, numerous able-bodied part-time and absent farmers earning higher off-farm income tend to under-utilize or idle small (and often fragmented) farms without selling or leasing them to full-time farmers to achieve economies of scale which do have logical basis and stood the test of empirical findings; and indicates that this is a global problem unresolved under private land ownership in both developing and developed countries. Thus small farmers in so doing are not so rational to the societal and their own fundamental interests. The paper also shows that in Central-Eastern Europe and Central Asia under private land ownership or possession many farmers voluntarily remain in collective land operation which perpetuates the low individual incentives. The paper further analyses the dilemmas the EU has been facing in resolving food overproduction, reducing trade-distorting agricultural subsidies and tariffs, keeping self-sufficiency, retaining small farmers in agriculture while strengthening large farmers, and efficient land use; and the crucial imperfections in the EU enlargement process. The paper thus proposes possible solutions on how to protect private land ownership, while transferring under-utilized land to full-time farmers; prevent the high costs of the traditional land consolidation, but still reaching its aims; keep part-time small farmers in agriculture, meanwhile bolstering full-time large farmers; avoid collective land operation, in the meantime benefiting from collective services; boosting EU enlargement but not adding burdens on the EU; retain non-cereal agriculture on ecologically sensitive land, at the same time improving the environment and precluding food overproduction; reduce trade-distorting agricultural subsidies and high tariffs, whereas making full-time farmers viable and competitive; and promote off-farm activities, for the meantime reinforcing agriculture.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Agecon Search in its series Miscellaneous Papers with number 11831.

    in new window

    Date of creation: 2002
    Handle: RePEc:ags:miscpa:11831
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    in new window

    1. Jian-Ming Zhou, 2001. "Sustainable Development in Asia, America and Europe with Global Applications," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 1637.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:miscpa:11831. 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: (AgEcon Search)

    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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.