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The Nature of the Farm
Author: Douglas W. Allen

ISBN: 9780262511858
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 266
Published: 17 August 2004
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 17.8 x 1.5
Description:
"The Nature of the Farm" is a theoretical and empirical study of contracts and organization in agriculture based on the transaction cost framework. Transaction costs are important in agriculture because nature (for example, seasonality, weather, pests) plays such a critical role in determining output and limiting the ability of farmers to specialize. The book develops specific models and tests the implications of those models against data sets from across North American agriculture, as well as against historical case studies such as eighteenth-century European land contracts and the late nineteenth-century Bonanza farms in the United States. The book is organized in three parts. Part I examines the classic question of what determines the optimal choice between fixed rent and cropshare arrangements, concluding that it is determined by a trade-off between incentives to overuse rented land and incentives to underreport shared output. Part II tests several predictions derived from a standard risk-sharing model of contracts and finds little evidence that risk sharing is important in contract choice. Part III extends the transaction costs analysis to broader organi...

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