The Impact of Intensive Farming on Land Tenure: Evidence from Confucius' Manors (1759–1901)
He Yang
China Economic Review 30 (2014) 279–289
#002296 20160221 ()
During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, fixed-rent tenancy gradually replaced sharecropping as the dominant form of land tenancy in China. This paper hypothesizes that the secular shift in land tenure was an adaptation to the change in land utilization system towards more intensive cropping. To test the hypothesiswe exploit a dataset gathered fromthe rent collection archives of Confucius' Lineage in the Qing Dynasty. We estimate the effect of the adoption of wheat–soybean double cropping on the choice of tenancy contract, share contract versus fixed-rent contract. We find that double cropped plots were 23.7% more likely to be managed under fixed-rent contracts than annually cropped plots. Our findings are consistent with the implications of the factor endowment theory. The adoption of double croppingmade farmingmore complex and placed greater demands on managerial inputs of tenants. In the absence of a factor market for managerial ability, optimal tenancy contract had adapted to provide tenantswith a greater incentive to supply managerial inputs than had been the case in sharecropping arrangements.
JEL-Codes: N55 O33 O13 Q15 Q16
Keywords: Double cropping Sharecropping Fixed-rent tenancy Intensive farming

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