Land rental market, off-farm employment and agricultural production in Southeast China

S. Feng, N. Heerink, R. Ruben, F. Qu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

114 Citations (Scopus)


This paper performs a plot-level analysis of the impact of land rentalmarket participation and offfarm employment on land investment, input use, and rice yields for 215 plots cultivated by 52 households in three villages inNortheast Jiangxi Province. Our findings showthat households that rent extra land are relativelymore productive, but contradict results of earlier studieswhich found that tenure status of plots affects the level of land investments. We further find that off-farm employment does not significantly affect rice yields. This result contradicts those of earlier studies which found that the negative lost-labor effect of off-farm employment dominates the positive income effect. Another novel finding is that people working locally off-farm tend to switch from green manure planting towards the use of organic manure on their rice plots. We conclude that policies that will further stimulate the development of land rental markets, which is still in its infancy, can contribute significantly to higher rice production in Southeast China. Another implication of our results is thatworries about the negative impact that the continuously growing off-farm employment may have on China's goal to remain self-sufficient in grain production are less relevant at the moment for the region examined in our study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)598-606
JournalChina Economic Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • rural china
  • labor-markets
  • migration
  • tenure
  • rights
  • fragmentation
  • investment
  • economics
  • costs


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