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Contractual arrangements and enforcement in transition agriculture: Theory and evidence from China
- Guo, Hongdong, Jolly, Robert W.
- Food policy 2008 v.33 no.6 pp. 570-575
- transitional economic systems, contracting, game theory, agricultural economics, agribusiness, compliance, small-scale farming, law enforcement, China
- This paper empirically investigates the relationship between contractual arrangements and their enforcement in Chinese agriculture. Based on an analysis of a survey of 100 agribusiness firms engaged in contract farming in Zhejiang province of China, we find that private contract enforcement mechanisms play an important role in influencing smallholders' decisions to breach or fulfill contracts. Contract arrangements such as floor pricing, or requiring smallholders to make specific investments facilitate self-enforcement and significantly improve the smallholder's contract fulfillment rate. This is particularly important in Chinese agriculture since the business environment is characterized by an absence of effective public enforcement institutions.