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The effects of agrarian contracts of a governmental intervention into bonded labor in the western terai of Nepal

Author

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  • Magnus Hatlebakk

Abstract

We study an effective intervention into a specific form of bonded labor. The intervention led to a shift in agrarian contracts, from bonded labor to sharecropping. By comparing the pre- and post-liberation contracts we evaluate theoretical models of agrarian contracts. We suggest three mechanisms that jointly explain why landlords offered bonded labor contracts pre-liberation. One mechanism we apply to define bonded labor in contrast to tied labor. The mechanism, where the outside option as casual labor is endogenously determined by the choice of long-term contract, implies a trade-off for the landlord between efficiency and redistribution of surplus.

Suggested Citation

  • Magnus Hatlebakk, 2006. "The effects of agrarian contracts of a governmental intervention into bonded labor in the western terai of Nepal," CMI Working Papers WP 2006: 6, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.
  • Handle: RePEc:chm:wpaper:wp2006-6
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1974. "Incentives and Risk Sharing in Sharecropping," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(2), pages 219-255.
    2. Pranab K. Bardhan, 1983. "Labor-tying in a Poor Agrarian Economy: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(3), pages 501-514.
    3. Genicot, Garance, 2002. "Bonded labor and serfdom: a paradox of voluntary choice," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 101-127, February.
    4. Schaffner, Julie Anderson, 1995. "Attached farm labor, limited horizons and servility," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 241-270, August.
    5. Hatlebakk, Magnus, 2002. "A new and robust subgame perfect equilibrium in a model of triadic power relations," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 225-232, June.
    6. Shetty, Sudhir, 1988. "Limited liability, wealth differences and tenancy contracts in agrarian economies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-22, July.
    7. Hatlebakk, Magnus, 2004. "Attached Labor in Nepal: A Field-Study of Landlord-Labor Relations that are Misrepresented in the Nepal-LSMS data," Working Papers in Economics 02/04, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
    8. Bardhan, Pranab K, 1980. "Interlocking Factor Markets and Agrarian Development: A Review of Issues," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(1), pages 82-98, March.
    9. Allen, Franklin, 1985. "On the Fixed Nature of Sharecropping Contracts," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(377), pages 30-48, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Koolwal, Gayatri B., 2007. "Son Preference and Child Labor in Nepal: The Household Impact of Sending Girls to Work," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 881-903, May.
    2. Espen Villanger, 2006. "Is bonded labor voluntary? A framework against forced work," CMI Working Papers WP 2006: 7, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.
    3. Espen Villanger, 2006. "Is Bonded Labor Voluntary? Evidence from the Liberation of the Kamaiyas in the Far-Western Region of Nepal," CMI Working Papers 16, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Tied labor Agrarian institutions Nepal;

    JEL classification:

    • J43 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Agricultural Labor Markets
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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