Grassland Grazing Contracts and Degradation: Relationship and Mechanism

Gang YING, Xiaochuan GUO


Is there some relation between the degradation and grazing institution? This paper attempts to find internal mechanism among the institution, herdsman behavior and degradation. The behavior of herdsman once was analyzed in private property of grassland, although once opposed. A grazing contract model under uncertainty was built, with which the herding behavior was checked. To analyze the relationship and mechanism between contracts characteristics and grassland degradation, the relation between and different risk preferences were studied under the decentralized equilibrium of the contract through setting the different parameters to show the basic characteristics of the grazing contract. We reach the following conclusions: the risk preferences of the type of pastoral are important to grassland degradation. The fact means the party to a contract is risk-neutral and will lead to overgrazation. Grassland degradation will arise in some situation expected utility maximization, even when both parties are risk averse. The conclusion is similar Elinor Ostrom’s points in 1990 that private property rights of grasslands may not the only, even not the best solution.


HRS; Herding behavior; Grassland grazing contracts; Uncertainty; Risk preferences; Grassland degradation

Full Text:



Agrawal, A. (2001). Common property institutions and sustainable governance of resources. World Development, 29(10).

Bardhan, P. (1983). Labor tying in a poor agrarian economy: A theoretical and empirical analysis. Quarterly Journal of Economics, August.

Barzel, Y., & Suen, W. (2005). Moral hazard, monitoring cost, and the choice of contracts. NTU Business Review, 5.

Berkes, F. (2004). Rethinking community based conservation. Conservation Biology, 18(3).

Braverman, A., & Stiglitz, J. (1982). Sharecropping and the interlinking of agrarian markets. American Economic Review, (6).

Cheung, S. (1968, December). Private property rights and sharecropping. J. Polit. Econ., 76, 1107-1022.

Cheung, S. (1970, April). The structure of a contract and the theory of a non-exclusive resource. J. Law Econ., 13, 49-70.

Elinor, O. (2008). The challenge of common-pool resources. Environment, 7.

Feeny, D., Berkes, F., Mccay, B., & Acheson, J. (1990). The tragedy of the commons: Twenty-two years later. Human Ecology, 18, 1-19.

Furubotn, E. G., & Pejovich, S. (1972, December). Property rights and economic theory: A survey of recent literature. Journal of Economic Literature, 10(4), 1137-1162.

Gordon, H. S. (1954). The economic theory of a common property resource: The fishery. Journal of Political Economy, 62, 124-142.

Hardin, G. (1968). The tragedy of the commons. Science, 162, 1243-1248.

Hardin, G. (1978). Political requirements for preserving our common heritage. In H. P. Brokaw (Ed.), Wildlife and America (pp.310-317). Washington, D. C.: Council on Environmental Quality.

Hayami,Y., & Otsuka, K. (1993). The economics of contract Choice: An agrarian perspective. London: Clarendon Press.

Mancur, O. (1995). Logic of collective action: Public goods (pp.64,70). Y. Chen, Y. F. Guo, & C. X. Li (Trans.). Shanghai: Shanghai people Press.

Mukesh, E., & Ashok, K. (1985). A theory of contractual structure in agriculture. American Economic Review, 352-367.

Newbery, D. M. G. (1977). Risk-sharing, sharecropping and uncertain labor markets. Review of Economic Studies, 44, 585-594.

Oplhuls, W., Oblivion, L., & Daly, H. E. (1973). Toward a steady state economy (pp.215-3001). San Francisco: W H Freeman.

Ostrom, E. (1999). Coping with tragedies of commons. Annu. Rev. Polit. Sci., 2, 493-535.

Ostrom, E. (2000). Governing the commons: The evolution of institutions for collective action (pp.9-44). X. D. Yu, & X. D. Yu (Trans.). Shanghai: Shanghai Joint Publishing.

State Environmental Protection Administration (2005, pp.72-73). Environment Condition Bulletin of China.

Stiglitz, J. E. (1974). Incentives and risk sharing in sharecropping. Rev. Econ. Stud., 61, 219-56.

Yang, X. K. (2001). Economics: New classical versus neoclassical frameworks (pp.181-215). Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c)


  • How to do online submission to another Journal?
  • If you have already registered in Journal A, then how can you submit another article to Journal B? It takes two steps to make it happen:

1. Register yourself in Journal B as an Author

  • Find the journal you want to submit to in CATEGORIES, click on “VIEW JOURNAL”, “Online Submissions”, “GO TO LOGIN” and “Edit My Profile”. Check “Author” on the “Edit Profile” page, then “Save”.

2. Submission

Online Submission

  • Go to “User Home”, and click on “Author” under the name of Journal B. You may start a New Submission by clicking on “CLICK HERE”.
  • We only use four mailboxes as follows to deal with issues about paper acceptance, payment and submission of electronic versions of our journals to databases:;;;

 Articles published in Canadian Social Science are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY).


Canadian Social Science Editorial Office

Address: 1020 Bouvier Street, Suite 400, Quebec City, Quebec, G2K 0K9, Canada.
Telephone: 1-514-558 6138 
Website: Http://; Http://;

Copyright © Canadian Academy of Oriental and Occidental Culture