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The Stolypin Reform and Agricultural Productivity in Late Imperial Russia

Author

Listed:
  • Paul Castaneda Dower

    (Florida International University)

  • Andrei Markevich

    (New Economic School)

Abstract

We study the effect of improvements in peasants’ land tenure, launched by the 1906 Stolypin reform, on agricultural productivity in late Imperial Russia. The reform allowed peasants to obtain land titles and consolidate separated land strips into single allotments. We find that consolidations increased land productivity. If the reform had been fully implemented, it would have doubled grain production in the empire. We argue that an important factor determining the positive impact on productivity is a decrease in coordination costs, enabling peasants to make independent production decisions from the village commune. In contrast, the titling component of the reform decreased land productivity and we present evidence that transaction costs explain this short-run decline.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Castaneda Dower & Andrei Markevich, 2017. "The Stolypin Reform and Agricultural Productivity in Late Imperial Russia," Working Papers w0239, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  • Handle: RePEc:cfr:cefirw:w0239
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    Cited by:

    1. Maravall Buckwalter, Laura & Domènech Feliu, Jordi & Basco Mascaro, Sergi, 2021. "Land reform and rural conflict: evidence from 1930s Spain," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH 32377, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
    2. Boberg-Fazlic, Nina & Lampe, Markus & Martinelli Lasheras, Pablo & Sharp, Paul, 2020. "Winners and Losers from Enclosure: Evidence from Danish Land Inequality 1682-1895," CEPR Discussion Papers 14616, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Timur Natkhov & Natalia Vasilenok, 2019. "Technology Adoption in Agrarian Societies: the Effect of Volga Germans in Imperial Russia," HSE Working papers WP BRP 220/EC/2019, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    4. Johannes C. Buggle & Steven Nafziger, 2021. "The Slow Road from Serfdom: Labor Coercion and Long-Run Development in the Former Russian Empire," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 103(1), pages 1-17, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    land tenure; peasant commune; Stolypin reform; Russia;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • N43 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N53 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment

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