Rural property rights, returns to scale and contracts

Dr Elaine Liu, University of Houston

Start Date: 25 April 2012 |   End Date: 24 October 2014

Research Councils UK project page

This research entails two projects that examines the impact of rural land rights on the decisions and outcomes of farmers in China.

Previously farmers only had use rights and could not legally engage in any market land transaction such as selling or renting.

In the first project the research team will study whether giving farmers leasing rights will improve their outcome. In the second project, the researchers will study the types and terms of contracts that farmers sign when allowing other farmers or agricultural firms to use their land, and will analyse the impact of these contract choices on agricultural investment and productivity.

This research agenda builds on economic theories that suggest that some types of contracts may lead to lower investment and lower levels of productivity. It will provide valuable insight into how land market interactions among farmers and between farmers and agricultural firms affect rural economic growth.

Rural farmer in Qing Yunnan, China c. Hong Meen Chee