We examine how land tenure arrangements affect Chinese crop farmers’ adoption of straw retention, a key conservation practice promoted by the Chinese government in part to curb rising air pollution. Using data from a 2016 farmer household survey covering 1,659 crop plots in Henan Province in central China, we analyze how straw retention choices are influenced by two different land tenure arrangements: own-contracted plots versus rented plots. Empirical results from several probit regressions reveal that, after controlling for crop choice, harvest season, spatial climate, and other plot-level and household-level covariates, a rented plot is associated with a 10.7 percent reduction in the probability of adopting straw retention after harvest throughout 2015. A Heckman selection model that corrects the sample selection bias further supports the negative correlation between less secure rented farmland and straw retention adoption. This suggests that more caution and attention is warranted to the long-term sustainability of farmland in urbanizing China as the Chinese government keeps pushing for further development of rural land rental market.
Department of Economics, Iowa State University
Mei, Yingdan; Gao, Lie; Zhang, Wendong; Song, Yu; Jin, Shugqin; and Sam, Abdoul, "Land Tenure and Adoption of Straw Retention: Evidence from Henan, China" (2017). Economics Working Papers: Department of Economics, Iowa State University. 17037.