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



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.

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