The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd


  • Pierre Dubois
Reference work entry


Sharecropping is a form of land leasing contract between a tenant and a landlord who share the production. It has a variety of forms and is sometimes linked with credit, lending, or insurance. The apparent inefficiency of sharecropping due to the fact that the tenant receives only a share of the marginal productivity of his labour has attracted economists’ attention since Adam Smith. Within the principalagent paradigm, sharecropping is now thought of as trading off incentives and risk sharing or as reducing transaction costs for a landlord willing to lend out a piece of land.


Agency costs Arbitrage Collusion Contract repetition Cost sharing Credit Fixed-rent contracts Fixed-wage contracts Incentive contracts Insurance Laffont, J.-J. Land leasing contracts Lending Limited liability Linear contracts Marketing agreements Monitoring costs Moral hazard Multitask moral hazard models Nonlinear contracts Peasants Principal and agent Risk aversion Risk neutrality Risk sharing Sharecropping Shirking Stiglitz, J. Tenancy ladder Transaction costs 

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  • Pierre Dubois
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