The objective of this article is to provide new empirical evidence on landlord-tenant choices of share versus cash-rent contracts in U.S. agriculture. The focus is on the contribution of explanatory variables that represent transaction costs, risk-sharing incentives, or both. An empirical model of contract choice is tested against the 1999 Agricultural Economics and Land Ownership Survey (AELOS) and finds mixed evidence for low transaction cost and risk-sharing-incentive motives for landlord-tenant choices of a share versus cash-rent contract. However, the behavior of landlords and tenants is consistent with them being risk averse. Although it is standard to control for the riskiness of the principal's task that is contracted, we find that other attributes of the landlord are an important part of a relatively complex story for U.S. land tenancy contacting. The latter results have generally been ignored in other published landlord-tenant contracting studies.

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American Journal of Agricultural Economics
Erasmus School of Economics

Fukunaga, K., & Hufmann, W. (2009). The role of risk and transaction costs in contract design: Evidence from farmland lease contracts in U.S. agriculture. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 91(1), 237–249. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8276.2008.01164.x