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On the Political Economy of Land Reforms in the Former Soviet Union

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  • Johan Swinnen
  • Ayo Heinegg

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Johan Swinnen & Ayo Heinegg, 2002. "On the Political Economy of Land Reforms in the Former Soviet Union," LICOS Discussion Papers 11502, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
  • Handle: RePEc:lic:licosd:11502
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    File URL: http://www.econ.kuleuven.be/licos/publications/dp/dp115.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Wegren, Stephen K., 2002. "Rural land privatization in Russia," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 175-178, June.
    3. Lerman, Zvi, 2001. "Agriculture in transition economies: from common heritage to divergence," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 26(2), pages 95-114, 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 365-394, January.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Van Landeghem, Bert & Swinnen, Johan F.M. & Vranken, Liesbet, 2008. "Land and Happiness: Land Distribution and Subjective Well-Being in Moldova," 2008 International Congress, August 26-29, 2008, Ghent, Belgium 44375, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. Rajag M. Nag & Johannes F. Linn & Harinder S. Kohli (ed.), 2016. "Central Asia 2050: Unleashing the Region's Potential," Books, Emerging Markets Forum, edition 1, number centasia2050, August.
    3. Pomfret, Richard, 2007. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Kazakhstan," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 48360, World Bank.
    4. Neudert, Regina & Rühs, Michael, 2013. "The Race for Leasing Rights: Pasture Access and Institutional Change During Post-socialist Reforms in Azerbaijan," Institutional Change in Agriculture and Natural Resources Discussion Papers 148489, Humboldt University Berlin, Department of Agricultural Economics.
    5. Rozelle, Scott & Swinnen, Johan F.M., 2009. "Political Economy of Agricultural Distortions in Transition Countries of Asia and Europe," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 50298, World Bank.
    6. Paul Mosley & Daniela Olejarova & Elena Alexeeva, 2004. "Microfinance, social capital formation and political development in Russia and eastern Europe: a pilot study of programmes in Russia, Slovakia and Romania," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(3), pages 407-427.
    7. Shaumarov, Makhmud & Birner, Regina, 2013. "Dryland Pastoral Systems in Transition: What are the Options for Institutional Change in Uzbekistan?," 53rd Annual Conference, Berlin, Germany, September 25-27, 2013 156133, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA).
    8. Hofman, Irna & Visser, Oane, 2014. "Geographies of transition: The political and geographical factors of agrarian change in Tajikistan
      [Geographien der Transformation: Die politischen und geographischen Faktoren der Landreform in Tad
      ," IAMO Discussion Papers 151, Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO).
    9. ROZELLE, Scott & SWINNEN, Johan F.M., 2009. "Why did the communist party reform in China, but not in the Soviet Union? The political economy of agricultural transition," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 275-287, June.
    10. Davis, Junior, 2006. "Rural Non-farm Livelihoods in Transition Economies: Emerging Issues and Policies," eJADE: electronic Journal of Agricultural and Development Economics, Food and Agriculture Organization, Agricultural and Development Economics Division, vol. 3(2).
    11. Johan Swinnen, & Kristine Van Herck & Liesbet Vranken, 2014. "The Diversity of Land Institutions in Europe," LICOS Discussion Papers 35514, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.

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