Power, distortions, revolt, and reform in agricultural land relations
Most work on the relationship between farm size and productivity strongly suggests that farms that rely mostly on family labor are more productive than large farms operated primarily by hired labor. This study began as an inquiry into how rental and sales markets for agricultural land in the developing world affect efficiency and equity. What emerged was the clear sense that great variations in land relations around the world and over time cannot be understood in the common paradigm of property rights and competitive markets. Under that paradigm, land scarcity leads to better definition of rights, which are thentraded in sales and rental markets accessible equally to all players. The outcome should be the allocation of land to the most efficient uses and users, yet this rarely happens. Instead, land rights and ownership tend to grow out of power relationships. Landowning groups have used coercion and distortions in land, labor, credit, and commodity markets to extract economic rents from the land, from peasants and workers, and most recently from urban consumer groups or taxpayers. Such rent-seeking activities reduce the efficiency of resource use, retard growth, and increase the poverty of the rural population. The authors examine how these power relations emerged and what legal means enabled relatively few landowners to accumulate and hold on to large landholdings. The authors discuss the successes and failures of reform in market and socialist economies, and the perversions of reforms in both systems, manifested in large commercial farms and collectives. They survey the history of land relations and the legacies that history leaves. They discuss the three analytical controversies surrounding economies of scale, and the efficiency of the land sales and land rental market. They discuss the main policy issues and implications of various distortions and successful and unsuccessful reforms in the developing world, including land registration and titling, land taxation, regulations restricting land sales and rentals, fragmentation and consolidation of land, redistributive land reform, and decollectivization. In an epilogue on methodology, the authors examine how various strands of economic theory have contributed, or failed to contribute, to the explanation of variations in policies, distortions, and land relations over space and time.
|Date of creation:||31 Jul 1993|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433|
Phone: (202) 477-1234
Web page: http://www.worldbank.org/
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Southgate, Douglas & Sierra, Rodrigo & Brown, Lawrence, 1991. "The causes of tropical deforestation in Ecuador: A statistical analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 19(9), pages 1145-1151, September.
- Forster, Nancy R., 1992. "Protecting fragile lands: New reasons to tackle old problems," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 571-585, April.
- Feder, Gershon & Onchan, Tongroj & Raparla, Tejaswi, 1988.
"Collateral, Guaranties and Rural Credit in Developing Countries: Evidence from Asia,"
Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists,
International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 2(3), November.
- Feder, Gershon & Onchan, Tongroj & Raparla, Tejaswi, 1988. "Collateral, guaranties and rural credit in developing countries: evidence from Asia," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 2(3), pages 231-245, November.
- Quibria, M. G. & Rashid, Salim, 1984. "The puzzle of sharecropping: A survey of theories," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 103-114, February.
- R. G. Lipsey & Kelvin Lancaster, 1956. "The General Theory of Second Best," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(1), pages 11-32.
- Moll, Peter G., 1988. "Transition to freehold in the South African reserves," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 349-360, March.
- 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.
- de Janvry, Alain & Sadoulet, Elisabeth, 1989. "A study in resistance to institutional change: The lost game of Latin American land reform," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 17(9), pages 1397-1407, September.
- N. Jayaram & Surendra K. Gupta & A.P. Barnabas & Sachchidananda & P.S. Pachauri & M.L. Khattar & B.N. Sampath & H. R. Khanna, 1985. "India," India Quarterly: A Journal of International Affairs, Indian Council of World Affairs, vol. 41(1), pages 177-179.
- Reid, Joseph D, Jr, 1976. " Sharecropping and Agricultural Uncertainty," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 549-76, April.
- Randall, Alan & Castle, Emery N., 1985. "Land resources and land markets," Handbook of Natural Resource and Energy Economics, in: A. V. Kneese† & J. L. Sweeney (ed.), Handbook of Natural Resource and Energy Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 13, pages 571-620 Elsevier.
- Libecap, Gary D., 1986. "Property rights in economic history: Implications for research," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 227-252, July.
- D. Glover, 1990. "Contract Farming And Outgrower Schemes In East And Southern Africa," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(3), pages 303-315.
- Lehmann, David, 1986. "Sharecropping and the capitalist transition in agriculture : Some evidence from the highlands of Ecuador," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 333-354, October.
- Otsuka, Keijiro, 1991. "Determinants and consequences of land reform implementation in the Philippines," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 339-355, April.
- Benjamin, Dwayne, 1992. "Household Composition, Labor Markets, and Labor Demand: Testing for Separation in Agricultural Household Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 287-322, March.
- J. Michael Pogodzinski & Tim R. Sass, 1990. "The Economic Theory of Zoning: A Critical Review," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 66(3), pages 294-314.
- Skinner, Jonathan, 1991. "Prospects for Agricultural Land Taxation in Developing Countries," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 5(3), pages 493-511, September.
- Skinner, Jonathan, 1991. "If Agricultural Land Taxation Is So Efficient, Why Is It So Rarely Used?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 5(1), pages 113-33, January.
- Oldenburg, Philip, 1990. "Land consolidation as land reform, in India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 183-195, February.
- Falk, Barry L., 1991. "Formally Testing the Present Value Model of Farmland Prices," Staff General Research Papers Archive 11093, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
- Douglas Southgate, 1990. "The Causes of Land Degradation along "Spontaneously" Expanding Agricultural Frontiers in the Third World," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 66(1), pages 93-101.
- Fenoaltea, Stefano, 1976. "Risk, transaction costs, and the organization of medieval agriculture," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 129-151, April.
- Bell, Clive, 1988. "Credit markets and interlinked transactions," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 16, pages 763-830 Elsevier.
- Mitra, Pradeep K., 1983. "A theory of interlinked rural transactions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 167-191, March.
- Mitchell, Janet, 1990. "Perfect equilibrium and intergenerational conflict in a model of cooperative enterprise growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 48-76, June.
- Alston, Lee J & Datta, Samar K & Nugent, Jeffrey B, 1984. "Tenancy Choice in a Competitive Framework with Transactions Costs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(6), pages 1121-33, December.
- David E. Mills, 1989. "Is Zoning a Negative-Sum Game?," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 65(1), pages 1-12.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1164. 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: (Roula I. Yazigi)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.