The 'real' puzzle of sharecropping: Why is it disappearing?

Giovanni Federico

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Most of the literature on sharecropping deals with the reasons for the adoption of an allegedly irrational contract. Empirical testing of theoretical hypotheses is comparatively under-developed and the data on the worldwide diffusion of sharecropping are very scarce. This article argues that sharecropping is much less common than is sometimes assumed and that its share of total land has been decreasing. These 'stylized facts' are the 'real' puzzle that economic historians and theorists should try to explain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-285
Number of pages25
JournalContinuity and Change
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • General Social Sciences


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