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April 18 , 2011

Agrarian Reform in Russia

The Road from Serfdom


This book examines the history of reforms and major state interventions affecting Russian agriculture: the abolition of serfdom in 1861, the Stolypin reforms, the NEP, the Collectivization, Khrushchev reforms, and finally farm enterprise privatization in the early 1990s. It shows a pattern emerging from a political imperative in imperial, Soviet, and post-Soviet regimes, and it describes how these reforms were justified in the name of the national interest during severe crises - rapid inflation, military defeat, mass strikes, rural unrest, and/or political turmoil. It looks at the consequences of adversity in the economic environment for rural behavior after reform and at long-run trends. It has chapters on property rights, rural organization, and technological change. It provides a new database for measuring agricultural productivity from 1861 to 1913 and updates these estimates to the present. This book is a study of the policies aimed at reorganizing rural production and their effectiveness in transforming institutions.

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