Property Rights, Labour Markets, and Efficiency in a Transition Economy: The Case of Rural China
38 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2003
Date Written: 2002
This paper investigates the consequences of imperfect and uneven factor market development for farm efficiency in rural China during transition. In particular, we estimate the extent to which an inverse relationship in farm productivity can be attributed to the administrative (instead of market) allocation of land, and the extent of unevenly developed non-agricultural opportunities. Using a recently collected household survey, we show that a considerable amount of inefficiency exists in the countryside, especially in the employment of labour. Our results show that this inefficiency is alleviated by the development of external labour markets, and that in the context of the current imperfect market environment, administrative reallocations help improve on the margin both efficiency and equity. They do not go far enough, however, which raises important questions about constraints on rental activity, the link between administrative reallocation and decentralized land exchange, and property rights formation more generally.
Keywords: Rural institutions, property rights, labour markets, transition economies, farm efficiency
JEL Classification: D23, J43, Q15, O12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation