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Contract Duration and the Division of Labor in Agricultural Land Leases

  • Jonathan Yoder

    (Washington State University)

  • Ishrat Hossain

    (U. Technology, Sydney, Australia)

  • Francis Eppin

    (Oklahoma State University)

Short-term contracts provide weak incentives for durable input investment if post-contract asset transfer is difficult. Our model shows that when both agents provide inputs, optimal contract length balances weak incentives of one agent against the other. This perspective broadens the existing contract duration literature, which emphasizes the tradeoff between risk sharing and contract costs. We develop hypotheses and test them based on private grazing contracts from the Southern Great Plains. We find broad support for the implications of our model. For example, landowners provide durable land-specific inputs more often under annual versus multiyear contracts.

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File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/othr/papers/0506/0506011.pdf
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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Others with number 0506011.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: 28 Jun 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpot:0506011
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 39
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org

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  1. 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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  12. Allen, Douglas W & Lueck, Dean, 1992. "The "Back Forty" on a Handshake: Specific Assets, Reputation, and the Structure of Farmland Contracts," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(2), pages 366-76, April.
  13. 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.
  14. Keith J. Crocker & Scott E. Masten, 1988. "Mitigating Contractual Hazards: Unilateral Options and Contract Length," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(3), pages 327-343, Autumn.
  15. 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.
  16. Shelanski, Howard A & Klein, Peter G, 1995. "Empirical Research in Transaction Cost Economics: A Review and Assessment," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 335-61, October.
  17. Kees Jan Van Garderen & Chandra Shah, 2002. "Exact interpretation of dummy variables in semilogarithmic equations," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 5(1), pages 149-159, June.
  18. Allen, Douglas W & Lueck, Dean, 1999. "The Role of Risk in Contract Choice," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 704-36, October.
  19. Leffler, Keith B & Rucker, Randal R, 1991. "Transactions Costs and the Efficient Organization of Production: A Study of Timber-Harvesting Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 1060-87, October.
  20. Wallace, Frederick H. & Blanco, Herminio, 1991. "The effects of real and nominal shocks on union-firm contract duration," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 361-380, June.
  21. Danziger, Leif, 1988. "Real Shocks, Efficient Risk Sharing, and the Duration of Labor Contracts," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(2), pages 435-40, May.
  22. Gray, Jo Anna, 1978. "On Indexation and Contract Length," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(1), pages 1-18, February.
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