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Land lease markets and agricultural efficiency: theory and evidence from Ethiopia

  • Pender, John L.
  • Fafchamps, Marcel

This paper develops a theoretical model of land leasing that includes transaction costs of enforcing labor effort, risk pooling motives and non-tradable productive inputs. We test the implications of this model compared to those of the “Marshallian” (unenforceable labor effort) and “New School” (costlessly enforceable effort) perspectives using data collected from four villages in Ethiopia. We find that land lease markets operate relatively efficiently in the villages studied, supporting the New School perspective relative to the other two models. Land contract choice is found to depend upon the social relationships between landlords and tenants, but differences in contracts are not associated with significant differences in input use or output value per hectare. We find that other household and village characteristics do affect input use and output value, suggesting imperfections in other factor markets. These results imply that interventions to improve the functioning of land lease markets are likely to be of little benefit for agricultural efficiency in the villages studied, whereas improvements in other factor markets may be more beneficial.

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Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series EPTD discussion papers with number 81.

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Date of creation: 2001
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Handle: RePEc:fpr:eptddp:81
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  1. Buchinsky, Moshe, 1994. "Changes in the U.S. Wage Structure 1963-1987: Application of Quantile Regression," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 405-58, March.
  2. Gavian, Sarah & Ehui, Simeon, 1999. "Measuring the production efficiency of alternative land tenure contracts in a mixed crop-livestock system in Ethiopia," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 20(1), January.
  3. Hausman, Jerry, 2015. "Specification tests in econometrics," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 38(2), pages 112-134.
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  5. 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.
  6. Nottenburg, Carol & Pardey, Philip G. & Wright, Brian D., 2001. "Accessing other people's technology: do non-profit agencies need it? how to obtain it?," EPTD discussion papers 79, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  7. Otsuka, Keijiro & Chuma, Hiroyuki & Hayami, Yujiro, 1992. "Land and Labor Contracts in Agrarian Economies: Theories and Facts," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(4), pages 1965-2018, December.
  8. Gavian, Sarah & Ehui, Simeon, 1999. "Measuring the production efficiency of alternative land tenure contracts in a mixed crop-livestock system in Ethiopia," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 20(1), pages 37-49, January.
  9. D. Gale Johnson, 1950. "Resource Allocation under Share Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58, pages 111.
  10. Sadoulet, Elisabeth & Fukui, Seiichi & Janvry, Alan de, 1994. "Efficient share tenancy contracts under risk: The case of two rice-growing villages in Thailand," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 225-243, December.
  11. 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.
  12. John Pender & Marcel Fafchamps, 2002. "Land Lease Markets and Agricultural Efficiency: Theory and Evidence from Ethiopia," CSAE Working Paper Series 2002-19, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
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