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Second agriculture in Belarus and Ukraine:subsistence or leisure?


  • Maksim Yemelyanau

    (Belarusian Economic Research and Outreach Center (BEROC) and Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education and the Economics Institute of Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (CERGE-EI))


In many post-Soviet countries, more than half of all households use small land plots to produce significant agricultural output even though their members have paid jobs or collect state pensions. Existing studies suggest that in Russia such “second agriculture” helps smooth consumption. Using household survey data, I study the role of “second agriculture” in Belarus and Ukraine, two countries that differ significantly in the coverage of their social safety nets. I …find that while in Belarus small land plots do help smooth consumption of the poorest households (during the 1998 crisis), Ukrainian poor appear to be unable to invest sufficiently in their small land plot production to produce similar benefits. Most urban households use their small land plots for leisure, and over years they tend to move away from this activity.

Suggested Citation

  • Maksim Yemelyanau, 2009. "Second agriculture in Belarus and Ukraine:subsistence or leisure?," BEROC Working Paper Series 08, Belarusian Economic Research and Outreach Center (BEROC).
  • Handle: RePEc:bel:wpaper:08

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    13. Buckley, Robert M & Gurenko, Eugene N, 1997. "Housing and Income Distribution in Russia: Zhivago's Legacy," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 12(1), pages 19-32, February.
    14. Maksim Yemelyanau, 2008. "Inequality in Belarus from 1995 to 2005," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp356, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
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    More about this item


    Belarus; Ukraine; transition; social security; second agriculture; small land plots; consumption smoothing;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J43 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Agricultural Labor Markets
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets


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