Sharecropping and the management of large rural estates in Catalonia, 1850-1950

R. Garrabou, J. Planas, E. Saguer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines the role of sharecropping in the operation of great estates in Catalonia (Spain) from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century. Noting that the sharecropping option was not the fruit of inertia, but of the failure of alternatives, we look at the various factors which led to its predominance. Next, we show the adaptability of sharecropping to a variety of ecological and social contexts. Finally, we argue that the backwardness of Catalan agriculture is not to be attributed to sharecropping, which, on the contrary, proved comparable to other forms of tenure in terms of economic efficiency, and was also a successful instrument for the reproduction of social inequalities and labour exploitation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-108
JournalJournal of Peasant Studies
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001


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