Does Social Relation or Economic Interest Affect the Choice Behavior of Land Lease Agreement in China? Evidence from the Largest Wheat− Producing Henan Province

Ruifeng Liu, Zhifeng Gao, Yefan Nian, Hengyun Ma


As China is transferring from a centrally planned economy to a market economy, the land market becomes more active. With the rapid transition from an agricultural society to an industrialized society, both economic and social factors could influence the choice of land lease agreement. This paper investigates the choice behavior of land lease agreement based on the household data collected from the largest wheat-producing province in China, Henan province. The results provide strong evidence that economic interest plays a key role in the choice of land lease agreement. Meanwhile, the paper has also found that social relations still affect the choice of land lease agreement. To speed up the transfer of land use rights and scale of operation, this study proposes: reducing the land dependence of rural households; improving agricultural machinery and achieving farming mechanization; creating more non-farm work opportunities for rural laborers; promoting the citizenization of rural households; respecting farmers’ choice of contracts; and attaching importance to the role of social relations in farmland transfer.

In Sustainability, 2020, 12(10): 4279.
Yefan Nian
Yefan Nian
Ph.D. Student

I am a PhD student in economics. It does not mean that the only thing I care about is money, I care about a lot of things that non-economists care about. I just see them in a unique economical way. I am also a Chinese, which is not to say I only care about China, I am just born this way.