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Where is the Backward Peasant? Regional Crop Yields on Common and Private Land in Russia 1883-1913

Author

Listed:
  • Michael Kopsidis

    () (Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Central and Eastern Europe (IAMO))

  • Katja Bruisch

    () (German Historical Institute Moscow (DHI Moskau))

  • Daniel W. Bromley

    () (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Abstract

This paper deals with agricultural dynamics in late-Imperial Russia. Based upon a comprehensive micro-level data set on annual yields between 1883 and 1913, we provide insight into regional differences of agricultural growth and the development prospects of Russian agriculture before WWI. Making use of the fact that— unique in Europe— contemporary Russian statistics distinguished between “privately owned” and mostly communally governed “peasant” land, we are able to test the implications of different landtenure systems for agricultural growth. In a broader sense we will challenge the stereotype of the “backward” peasant and the common narrative of Russia as an exception to the pan-European picture of economic development during the era of industrialization.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Kopsidis & Katja Bruisch & Daniel W. Bromley, 2013. "Where is the Backward Peasant? Regional Crop Yields on Common and Private Land in Russia 1883-1913," Working Papers 0046, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
  • Handle: RePEc:hes:wpaper:0046
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    File URL: http://ehes.org/EHES_No46.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Leonard,Carol S., 2015. "Agrarian Reform in Russia," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107546233, December.
    2. Kopsidis, Michael & Hockmann, Heinrich, 2010. "Technical change in Westphalian peasant agriculture and the rise of the Ruhr, circa 1830–1880," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(02), pages 209-237, August.
    3. Chernina, Eugenia & Castañeda Dower, Paul & Markevich, Andrei, 2014. "Property rights, land liquidity, and internal migration," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 191-215.
    4. Edella Schlager & Elinor Ostrom, 1992. "Property-Rights Regimes and Natural Resources: A Conceptual Analysis," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 68(3), pages 249-262.
    5. Kopsidis, Michael & Wolf, Nikolaus, 2012. "Agricultural Productivity Across Prussia During the Industrial Revolution: A Thünen Perspective," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 72(03), pages 634-670, September.
    6. Sjaastad, Espen & Bromley, Daniel W., 1997. "Indigenous land rights in sub-Saharan Africa: Appropriation, security and investment demand," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 549-562, January.
    7. Jikun Huang, 2000. "Responsiveness, Flexibility, and Market Liberalization in China's Agriculture," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1133-1139.
    8. Wilbur, Elvira M., 1983. "Was Russian Peasant Agriculture Really That Impoverished? New Evidence from a Case Study from the “Impoverished Center” at the End of the Nineteenth Century," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(01), pages 137-144, March.
    9. Atwood, David A., 1990. "Land registration in Africa: The impact on agricultural production," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 659-671, May.
    10. Yujiro Hayami, 1996. "The Peasant in Economic Modernization," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(5), pages 1157-1167.
    11. Robert C. Allen, 1999. "Tracking the agricultural revolution in England," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 52(2), pages 209-235, May.
    12. Besley, Timothy, 1995. "Property Rights and Investment Incentives: Theory and Evidence from Ghana," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 903-937, October.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Russia; land productivity; peasant communal agriculture; land tenure;

    JEL classification:

    • N53 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • 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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