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Land distribution, incentives and the choice of production techniques in Nicaragua

  • Oriana Bandiera

Does the distribution of land rights affect the choice of contractible techniques? I present evidence suggesting that Nicaraguan farmers are more likely to grow effort-intensive crops on owned rather than on rented plots. I consider two theoretical arguments that illustrate why property rights might matter. In the first the farmer is subject to limited liability; in the second the owner cannot commit to output-contingent contracts. In both cases choices might be inefficient regardless of land distribution. The efficiency loss, however, is lower when the farmer owns the land. Further evidence suggests that, in this context, the inefficiency derives from lack of commitment.

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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/3545/
File Function: Open access version.
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Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 3545.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:3545
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  1. Bandiera, Oriana, 2001. "On the Structure of Tenancy Contracts: Theory and Evidence from 19th Century Rural Sicily," CEPR Discussion Papers 3032, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Current, D. & Lutz, E. & Scherr, S., 1995. "Costs, Benefits, and Farmer Adoption of Agroforestry. Project Experience in Central America and the Caribbean," Papers 14, World Bank - The World Bank Environment Paper.
  3. 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.
  4. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Matoussi, Mohamed Salah, 1995. "Moral Hazard, Financial Constraints and Sharecropping in El Oulja," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(3), pages 381-99, July.
  5. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1988. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Working papers 495, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. Feder, Gershon & Just, Richard E & Zilberman, David, 1985. "Adoption of Agricultural Innovations in Developing Countries: A Survey," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 255-98, January.
  7. Ghatak, Maitreesh & Pandey, Priyanka, 2000. "Contract choice in agriculture with joint moral hazard in effort and risk," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 303-326, December.
  8. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1973. "Incentives and Risk-Sharing in Sharecropping," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 353, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  9. Braverman, Avishay & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1986. "Landlords, tenants and technological innovations," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 313-332, October.
  10. Dilip Mookherjee, 1995. "Informational Rents and Property Rights in Land," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 55, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  11. Bhaduri, Amit, 1973. "A Study in Agricultural Backwardness under Semi-Feudalism," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 83(329), pages 120-37, March.
  12. Besley, Timothy, 1995. "Property Rights and Investment Incentives: Theory and Evidence from Ghana," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 903-37, October.
  13. 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.
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