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Assessing the functioning of land rental markets in Ethiopia

  • Deininger, Klaus
  • Ali, Daniel Ayalew
  • Alemu, Tekie

Although a large theoretical literature discusses the possible inefficiency of sharecropping contracts, the empirical evidence on this phenomenon has been ambiguous at best. Household-level fixed-effect estimates from about 8,500 plots operated by households that own and sharecrop land in the Ethiopian highlands provide support for the hypothesis of Marshallian inefficiency. At the same time, a factor adjustment model suggests that the extent to which rental markets allow households to attain their desired operational holding size is extremely limited. Our analysis points towards factor market imperfections (no rental for oxen), lack of alternative employment opportunities, and tenure insecurity as possible reasons underlying such behavior, suggesting that, rather than worrying almost exclusively about Marshallian inefficiency, it is equally warranted to give due attention to the policy framework within which land rental markets operate.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4442.

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Date of creation: 01 Dec 2007
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4442
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  1. John Pender & Marcel Fafchamps, 2006. "Land Lease Markets and Agricultural Efficiency in Ethiopia," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 15(2), pages 251-284, June.
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  4. 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.
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  6. Daniel A. Ackerberg & Maristella Botticini, 2002. "Endogenous Matching and the Empirical Determinants of Contract Form," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(3), pages 564-591, June.
  7. Lanjouw, Jean Olson, 1999. "Information and the operation of markets: tests based on a general equilibrium model of land leasing in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 497-527, December.
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  11. Feder, Gershon, 1985. "The relation between farm size and farm productivity : The role of family labor, supervision and credit constraints," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2-3), pages 297-313, August.
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  13. Deininger, Klaus & Ali, Daniel Ayalew & Holden, Stein & Zevenbergen, Jaap, 2007. "Rural land certification in Ethiopia : process, initial impact, and implications for other African countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4218, The World Bank.
  14. Frisvold, George B., 1994. "Does supervision matter? Some hypothesis tests using Indian farm-level data," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 217-238, April.
  15. Stein Holden & Bekele Shiferaw & John Pender, 2001. "Market Imperfections and Land Productivity in the Ethiopian Highlands," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(3), pages 53-70.
  16. Cheung, Steven N S, 1969. "Transaction Costs, Risk Aversion, and the Choice of Contractual Arrangements," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(1), pages 23-42, April.
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  20. Benjamin, Dwayne, 1995. "Can unobserved land quality explain the inverse productivity relationship?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 51-84, February.
  21. Teklu, Tesfaye & Lemi, Adugna, 2004. "Factors affecting entry and intensity in informal rental land markets in Southern Ethiopian highlands," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 30(2), pages 117-128, March.
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