Prices, Land Tenure Institutions, and Geography: A Matching Analysis of Farmland Abandonment in Post-Socialist Eastern Europe
This paper uses remote sensing data from 1989 to 2000 to examine the impacts of price liberalization, land tenure, and biophysical characteristics on farmland abandonment in the border region of Poland, Slovakia, and Ukraine. Using regression analysis and matching estimators, we find that differences in biophysical characteristics, rather than in tenure systems, best explain the variation in abandonment rates within Poland. The difference in abandonment rates between Poland and Slovakia partially results from differences in land reform strategy, and abandonment in Ukraine takes a unique trajectory because of the incompleteness of the land reform and the lack of outside opportunities for residents.
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