Land Ownership, Working Capital, and the Agricultural Output: Egypt, 1913-1958
Article [Version of Record]
Is part ofCahier de recherche ; no. 9545.
Publisher(s)Université de Montréal. Département de sciences économiques.
A simple model is constructed in which short-term credit is needed to finance the purchase of inputs, in which there is bankruptcy risk, and in which we argue were important characteristics of Egyptian agriculture during the first half of this century, result in aggregate agricultural output being dependant on the distribution of land ownership. The main theorical insight is that aggregate agricultural output will be increased by a decrease in the inequality of the distribution of land ownership when returns to scale are decreasing. Testable short- and long-run empirical propositions are formulated and carefully tested on Egyptian data for the 1913-1958 period. We find that, controlling for factor inputs, there is no tradeoff between equity and efficiency for Egyptian agriculture - they go hand in hand in the short run.