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The Importance Of Property Rights For Economic Outcomes: Lessons From The Transfer Of Productive Assets From Collective To Private Ownership In Bulgarian Agriculture


  • Burton Abrams

    (University of Delaware)

  • Plamen Yossifov

    (Ph.D. Student in Economics, University of Delaware)


The design of the agricultural reform in Bulgaria in the early 90-es provides researchers with a natural experiment for testing the effect of the protracted absence of clearly defined property rights on economic outcomes. Special rules governing the restitution of orchards made one group of crops, namely fruits, more susceptible to the negative effects of poorly defined property rights, resulting from delayed land reform. Our empirical analysis shows that the decline in agricultural output was steepest for crops in the fruits group, which we attribute to the differential effect of the property rights vacuum in the early stages of transition.

Suggested Citation

  • Burton Abrams & Plamen Yossifov, 2003. "The Importance Of Property Rights For Economic Outcomes: Lessons From The Transfer Of Productive Assets From Collective To Private Ownership In Bulgarian Agriculture," Microeconomics 0302006, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpmi:0302006
    Note: Type of Document - PDF; prepared on IBM PC; to print on PostScript; pages: 20 ; figures: included

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    References listed on IDEAS

    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. Davies, David G, 1971. "The Efficiency of Public versus Private Firms, The Case of Australia's Two Airlines," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(1), pages 149-165, April.
    3. Agnello, Richard J & Donnelley, Lawrence P, 1975. "Property Rights and Efficiency in the Oyster Industry," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(2), pages 521-533, October.
    4. de Melo, Martha & Denizer, Cevdet & Gelb, Alan, 1996. "From plan to market : patterns of transition," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1564, The World Bank.
    5. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sumon Kumar Bhaumik & Ralitza Dimova & Jeffrey B. Nugent, 2006. "Pulls, Pushes and Entitlement Failures in Labor Markets: Does the State of Development Matter?," CEDI Discussion Paper Series 06-07, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University.
    2. International Monetary Fund, 2008. "Republic of Moldova; Selected Issues," IMF Staff Country Reports 08/134, International Monetary Fund.

    More about this item


    property rights Bulgaria agriculture transition;

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • P26 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Political Economy
    • 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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