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Property Rights and Internal Migration: The Case of the Stolypin Agrarian Reform in the Russian Empire

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  • Eugenia Chernina

    (Toulouse School of Economics)

  • Paul Castaneda Dower

    ()
    (New Economic School and CEFIR)

  • Andrei Markevich

    ()
    (New Economic School and Department of Economics, University of Warwick)

Abstract

While economists have little question about the potential for liquidity constraints to influence the migration decision, the relative importance of these constraints has resisted empirical verification. The unique nature of the Stolypin agrarian reform in Russia provides a natural experiment with exogenous variation in liquidity constraints. The reform gives peasants the right to withdraw from the commune and to sell one's share of land. Previously liquidity constrained households could then take this opportunity to migrate to less populated areas. Some communes were not affected by the reform, permitting difference-in-differences analysis. Using a panel of historical data from 1901-1914 on regional migration, we find a strong positive correlation between the reform and migration. We employ instrumental variables to address the possible endogeneity due to omitted factors that might drive both commune exit and migration.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR) in its series Working Papers with number w0147.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cfr:cefirw:w0147

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References

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  1. Guido Friebel & Sergei Guriev, 2006. "Smuggling Humans: A Theory of Debt-financed Migration," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 4(6), pages 1085-1111, December.
  2. Maëlys De La Rupelle & Deng Quheng & Li Shi & Thomas Vendryes, 2009. "Land rights insecurity and temporary migration in rural China," PSE Working Papers halshs-00575041, HAL.
  3. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Stark, Oded, 1989. "Consumption Smoothing, Migration, and Marriage: Evidence from Rural India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 905-26, August.
  4. Quy-Toan Do & Lakshmi Iyer, 2008. "Land Titling and Rural Transition in Vietnam," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 531-579.
  5. Timothy J. Hatton & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2002. "What Fundamentals Drive World Migration?," NBER Working Papers 9159, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Galor, Oded & Moav, Omer & Vollrath, Dietrich, 2008. "Inequality in Land Ownership, the Emergence of Human Capital Promoting Institutions and the Great Divergence," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 6751, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Guy Stecklov & Paul Winters & Marco Stampini & Benjamin Davis, 2005. "Do conditional cash transfers influence migration? A study using experimental data from the Mexican progresa program," Demography, Springer, Springer, vol. 42(4), pages 769-790, November.
  8. Halliday, Timothy, 2006. "Migration, Risk, and Liquidity Constraints in El Salvador," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(4), pages 893-925, July.
  9. Andrienko, Yuri & Guriev, Sergei, 2003. "Determinants of Interregional Mobility in Russia: Evidence from Panel Data," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 3835, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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Cited by:
  1. Cheremukhin, Anton & Golosov, Mikhail & Guriev, Sergei & Tsyvinski, Aleh, 2013. "Was Stalin Necessary for Russia’s Economic Development?," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 9669, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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