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Evidence on the Incentive Properties of Share Contracts

  • Luis H.B. Braido

    (Getulio Vargas Foundation, Graduate School of Economics)

Ever since Adam Smith, share contracts have been condemned for their lack of incentives. Sharecropping tenants face incentives to undersupply productive inputs since they receive only a fraction of the marginal revenue. The empirical literature reports that lands under sharecropping are less productive and employ inputs less intensively than those operated by owners. This paper shows that: (i) share contracts are also associated with lower-quality lands; (ii) the sharecroppers' input choices satisfy profit-maximization conditions; and (iii) the contract form does not affect farm productivity conditional on land quality and input use. These findings suggest that farmers optimally choose to employ inputs less intensively in lower-quality lands under sharecropping and, then, these lands end up being less productive. Land- quality selection bias (as opposite to incentives) seems to be behind the existing evidence on the productive disadvantage of share contracts.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Development and Comp Systems with number 0508013.

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Date of creation: 30 Aug 2005
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Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpdc:0508013
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  1. Bandiera, Oriana, 2002. "Land Distribution, Incentives and the Choice of Production Techniques in Nicaragua," CEPR Discussion Papers 3141, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Sanford Grossman & Oliver Hart, . "An Analysis of the Principal-Agent Problem," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 15-80, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  3. 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.
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  6. Pierre Dubois, 1999. "Moral Hazard, Land Fertility and Sharecropping in a Rural Area of the Philippines," Working Papers 99-30, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  7. Allen, Douglas & Lueck, Dean, 1992. "Contract Choice in Modern Agriculture: Cash Rent versus Cropshare," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(2), pages 397-426, October.
  8. D. Gale Johnson, 1950. "Resource Allocation under Share Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58, pages 111.
  9. Radner, Roy, 1981. "Monitoring Cooperative Agreements in a Repeated Principal-Agent Relationship," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(5), pages 1127-48, September.
  10. Rao, C H Hanumantha, 1971. "Uncertainty, Entrepreneurship, and Sharecropping in India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(3), pages 578-95, May-June.
  11. Douglas W. Allen & Dean Lueck, 1993. "Transaction Costs and the Design of Cropshare Contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 24(1), pages 78-100, Spring.
  12. Radner, Roy, 1985. "Repeated Principal-Agent Games with Discounting," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(5), pages 1173-98, September.
  13. Jacoby, Hanan G. & Mansuri, Ghazala, 2006. "Incomplete contracts and investment : a study of land tenancy in Pakistan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3826, The World Bank.
  14. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1973. "Incentives and Risk-Sharing in Sharecropping," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 353, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  15. Luis H. B. Braido, 2003. "Insurance and Incentives in Sharecropping," CESifo Working Paper Series 1098, CESifo Group Munich.
  16. Bengt Holmstrom, 1979. "Moral Hazard and Observability," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 74-91, Spring.
  17. Jacoby, Hanan G. & Li, Guo & Rozelle, Scott, 2002. "Hazards Of Expropriation:Tenure Insecurity And Investment In Rural China," Working Papers 11960, University of California, Davis, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
  18. Hodges, Dorothy J, 1969. "A Note on Estimation of Cobb-Douglas and CES Production Function Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(4), pages 721-25, October.
  19. 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.
  20. Rubinstein, Ariel & Yaari, Menahem E., 1983. "Repeated insurance contracts and moral hazard," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 74-97, June.
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