IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Rational Resistance to Land Privatisation in Russia: Modelling the Behaviour of Rural Producers in Response to Agrarian Reforms, 1861-2000

Listed author(s):
  • Carol Scott Leonard

This paper argues that rural opposition to land reform in transition Russia is a consequence of individually rational decisions by members of former state and collective farms about whether to support further land reform, or preserve the status quo, collective farming. Evidence from survey data shows that despite the government`s efforts to promote a land market and independent farming in the 1990s, preferences in 1996 still favoured the largely unreformed status quo. The observed retention of collective farming is so widespread as to block both the development of a land market and restructuring. The visible consequence of stalemated reform has been persistent agricultural output decline and widespread bankruptcy of large farm entities, without any significant rise of independent farming. This paper formalises a dynamic argument for rational opposition to land reform, given the existence of uncertainty about the costs that individual cultivators will incur. It turns out that the consequences of initial decisions could have decisive impact on rejection of reform later on. The paper discusses further, the relevance of the historical parallel during the post-Emancipation and Stolypin eras when peasant communes resisted enclosures and restructuring of rights to land. Opposition, seemingly irrational, recurred and lasted throughout the reform era. It can be seen that opposition to reform at that time, too, was individually rational, given incomplete property rights reform; the state also bears responsible in contemporary and historical times for policies that tended to help preserve the status-quo. The state failed to improve the unclear property rights which dampened reform incentives early on in the reform process both historically and in the rural transition environment.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 13.

in new window

Date of creation: 01 Jul 2000
Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:13
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Manor Rd. Building, Oxford, OX1 3UQ

Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

in new window

  1. László Csontos & János Kornai & István György Tóth, 1998. "Tax awareness and reform of the welfare state: Hungarian survey results," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 6(2), pages 287-312, November.
  2. Peter Oppenheimer & Brigitte Granville, 2001. "Russia’s Post-Communist Economy," World Economics, World Economics, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 2(1), pages 149-168, January.
  3. David, Paul A. & Rothwell, Geoffrey S., 1996. "Standardization, diversity and learning: Strategies for the coevolution of technology and industrial capacity," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 181-201.
  4. Paul A. David, 1997. "Path Dependence and the Quest for Historical Economics: One More chorus of Ballad of QWERTY," Oxford University Economic and Social History Series _020, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  5. Robert M. Townsend, 1995. "Consumption Insurance: An Evaluation of Risk-Bearing Systems in Low-Income Economies," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 83-102, Summer.
  6. Kornai, Janos, 1992. "The Socialist System: The Political Economy of Communism," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198287766.
  7. Kahan, Arcadius, 1989. "Russian Economic History," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226422435, March.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:13. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Anne Pouliquen)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.