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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Do land markets improve land-use efficiency? evidence from Jiangsu, China

Liu, Ziming; Zhang, Lan; Rommel, Jens; Feng, Shuyi


Inefficient use of scarce and fragmented land challenges the sustainability of agriculture. Land markets may improve land-use efficiency. In recent years, China has employed various instruments to promote land markets. This paper investigates whether land markets affect households' land-use efficiency, based on data from 1,202 farm households in Jiangsu Province. The measure of land-use efficiency was derived from a stochastic frontier production function, and a control function approach was employed to correct for selection bias. The results indicated that many households are using land inefficiently. While renting in land increases land-use efficiency, it is not affected by renting out land, implying that households are not giving up land for efficiency gains. We also provide suggestive evidence that the positive effect of renting in land results from abundant agricultural labour due to labour market failure.


Land market; technical efficiency; stochastic frontier analysis; control function

Published in

Applied Economics
2020, Volume: 52, number: 3, pages: 317-330

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