Agricultural industrialization is the basic outlet and essential path to realize agricultural modernization. Abundant practical experience reveals that signing commodity contract is an effective way for smallholders to attend the process of agricultural industrialization. Therefore, investigating the behavior logic of farmers signing commodity contract is of vital importance. For over a decade, though researchers have focused on the issue and investigated smallholders' behavior from various perspectives, the results have not reached agreement. Furthermore, few researchers give attention to contract arrangements and farmers' preferences. In fact, not considering contractual arrangements means ignoring the heterogeneity of contracts, and overlooking the relation between contractual arrangements and smallholders' preferences also makes it difficult to understand smallholders' behavior mechanism of signing commodity contract. This paper extends previous studies by treating contracts as the combinations of contractual arrangements, and putting forward the point that smallholders' decision to sign a contract or not depends on whether the contractual arrangements can satisfy their preferences. Then we use choice experiment to investigate contractual arrangements, smallholders' preferences and their relationships. Based on the data collected among fruit farmers in Dangshan County, Anhui Provence, and the results of mixed logit models, we find that: There is a general preference for marketing options that involve a contract, and signing a contract with farmer cooperatives is much more preferred by smallholders to that with leading firms. Besides, offering services, such as technical assistance, market information and inputs provision cannot increase farmers' utilities. Despite all that, farmers' preferences for signing a contract and the arrangements mentioned above are heterogeneous since their available infrastructure, risk attitudes and labor endowments are different. Additionally, prearranging prices could impede participation of smallholders in contract transaction, yet payment in advance and protecting price do not matter. The investigation of smallholders' preferences and their heterogeneity can provide reference for contracting parties to design contract terms according to smallholders' preferences. Furthermore, this paper provides a new interpretation for farmers' behavior of signing or breaking contracts. In order to encourage smallholders to sign commodity contracts and keep the contracts stable, this article proposes the intervention of farmer cooperatives, so as to realize the innovation of agricultural industrial organization mode. Scientifically designing contractual terms is essential as well. However, since smallholders' preferences are heterogeneous, it might be impossible to design a contract that can satisfy all rural households. Therefore, offering various contractual terms and allowing smallholders to assemble the contract according to their preferences might be a possible path.
朋文欢 黄祖辉. 契约安排、农户选择偏好及其实证——基于选择实验法的研究[J]. 浙江大学学报(人文社会科学版), 2017, 3(4): 99-.
Peng Wenhuan Huang Zuhui. Contractual Arrangements, Choice Preferences and Empirical Researches for Smallholders：A Study Based on Choice Experiment. JOURNAL OF ZHEJIANG UNIVERSITY, 2017, 3(4): 99-.