2010. Natural Experiments of History. edited by James A Robinson and Diamond, Jared. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
We propose a general equilibrium model where the economic organization of agriculture and the political equilibrium determining the security of property rights are jointly determined. In particular, because the form of organization may affect the probability and distribution of benefits from future property challenges, it may be shaped in anticipation of this impact. Property rights security may then be secured at the expense of economic efficiency. The model provides a framework for understanding why in some contexts land is redistributed primarily via land sales and tenancy markets but via politics and conflict in others. We test some implications of the theory using a five-decade panel dataset that traces changes in the extent of tenancy and tenancy reform across 15 Indian states.