Lueck, Dean

May, 2015

By: Emerick, Kyle; Lueck, Dean
This paper analyzes the structure of water transactions using data on contract duration from California. Water rights in the western United States are transferred through short-term and longterm leases as well as permanent ownership contracts. We test predictions about the type of water contracts derived from the literature on economic organization by using ordered probit models to investigate the correlates of contract duration.We confirm that long-term and permanent contracts are more likely when investments in specific assets are required for conveyance. We also find that longer-term arrangements are common when buyers with uncertain water supplies purchase from sellers with more certain rights, suggesting that urban municipalities use long-term contracts to reduce risk. We do not find robust evidence supporting the hypothesis that short-term agreements are more likely when the costs of transfer to third parties are potentially high.

December, 1999

By: Allen, Douglas W.; Lueck, Dean
In a dynamic contracting environment, increasing standards over time in light of past performance is known as the ratchet effect. Despite the recent theoretical attention given to the ratchet effect, models that include these effects have not been empirically tested against contract data. In this study, we use farm-level data on modern Great Plains agricultural cash rent and cropshare contracts to test for the presence of ratchet effects in the context of a principal-agent model with moral hazard. We find limited evidence for the ratchet effect within share contracts, and no evidence that it is important for the choice of contract between cash rent and cropshare.