Property Rights, Labor Markets, and Efficiency in a Transition Economy: The Case of Rural China
This paper investigates the consequences of imperfect and uneven factor market development for farm efficiency in rural China. In particular, we estimate the extent to which an inverse relationship in farm productivity can be attributed to the administrative (instead of market) allocation of land, and the extent of unevenly developed non-agricultural opportunities. Using a recently collected household survey, we show that a considerable amount of inefficiency exists in the countryside, especially in the employment of labor. Our results show that this inefficiency is alleviated by the development of external labor markets, but perhaps more surprisingly, that in the context of the current imperfect market environment, administrative reallocations help improve both efficiency and equity on the margin. They do not go far enough, however, which raises important questions about constraints on rental activity and the link between administrative reallocation and decentralized land exchange.
|Date of creation:||11 Apr 2000|
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William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series
298, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
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