A key to understanding why some rural development policies succeed and some fail is found in this book. The editors contend that established economic models are inadequate to interpret the behavior of rural market and nonmarket institutions. This book investigates the economic institutions, contractual arrangements, and technological constraints found in rural land, labor, and credit markets. Not only does it contribute new empirical evidence and expand economic theory, it also provides fresh insight for agricultural policymaking and institutional reform. Drawing together recent theoretical work, case studies, and historical research, the editors explore some of the most pressing problems facing developing countries: how to promote financial integration of the rural sector, how to rationalize the use of land and water, and how to design and administer rural tax and transfer policies. While some of the theoretical chapters are technical, the overview chapters and most of the case studies are not. These chapters should be accessible to a wide audience of policymakers, academics from many disciplines, and university students.