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On the political economy of land reforms in the former Soviet Union

  • Johan F. M. Swinnen

    (Department of Economics and LICOS-Center for Transition Economics, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium)

  • Ayo Heinegg

    (Department of Economics and LICOS-Center for Transition Economics, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium)

This paper provides a set of hypotheses to explain differences in the procedures and progress of land reforms among FSU countries. The first factor is the historical legacy of the countries and their institutions. Demand for land privatization was weak except in countries and regions where collectivization was imposed only after the second World War. Another factor is technology: countries with labor-intensive agricultural systems are characterized by more radical land reforms and decollectivization. The domination of nomadic pastoral grazing systems in Central Asia reinforces the technology factor. The last factor is politics: further political reforms may be needed as a prerequisite for progress in land reforms in the countries lagging far behind in land reforms.

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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of International Development.

Volume (Year): 14 (2002)
Issue (Month): 7 ()
Pages: 1019-1031

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Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:14:y:2002:i:7:p:1019-1031
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  1. Lerman, Zvi, 2001. "Agriculture in transition economies: from common heritage to divergence," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 26(2), November.
  2. Lerman, Zvi, 2001. "Agriculture in transition economies: from common heritage to divergence," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 26(2), pages 95-114, November.
  3. Johan F. M. Swinnen, 1999. "The political economy of land reform choices in Central and Eastern Europe," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 7(3), pages 637-664, November.
  4. Macours, Karen & Swinnen, Johan F M, 2002. "Patterns of Agrarian Transition," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50(2), pages 365-94, January.
  5. Csaki, S. & Nash, J., 1998. "The Agrarian Economies of Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Situation and Perspectives, 1997," World Bank - Discussion Papers 387, World Bank.
  6. de Melo, Martha & Denizer, Cevdet & Gelb, Alan & Tenev, Stoyan, 1997. "Circumstance and choice : the role of initial conditions and policies in transition economies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1866, The World Bank.
  7. Wegren, Stephen K., 2002. "Rural land privatization in Russia," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 175-178, June.
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