Panel Session: FARM EFFICIENCY COUNTRY CASES

Land Reform and De-Collectivisation in CEECs: Some Conceptual Issues

SOFIA DAVIDOVA and ALLAN BUCKWELL1

London University, Wye College, Wye, Ashford, Kent, TN25 5AH, United Kingdom

Abstract

DAVIDOVA, S. and A. BUCKWELL, 1999. Land reform and de-collectivization in CEECs: some conceptual issues. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 5:325-336

The main objective of the paper is to try to clarify some of the terminology and thus to facilitate the interpretation of the core of the land reforms and de-collectivisation process. In order to reach this objective a classificatory approach has been taken.
Resttitution was the most wide-spread method of land reform due to the constraints on the policy choice in the CEECs imposed by the post-collectivisation ownership pattern. It is claimed that there is no contradiction between restitution and efficiency. The implicit assumption that land restitution means the creation of small-scale farms is not supported by the empirical evidence so far.
The paper claims that the core of the de-collectivisation of agriculture is the removal of compulsion related to the collectivisation and the existence of atomistic decision-making. From this point of view it is concluded that the CEECs have largely de-collectivised.

Key words: land reform, de-collectivisation, restitution, economic reforms, CEECs


1 Dr Sofia Davidova is a lecturer of agricultural economics and Allan Buckwell is a professor of agricultural economics in Wye College, London University, Wye, Ashford, KENT, TN25 5AH. The paper was inspired by the involvement of both authors in the EU COST funded research network 'Policy and Institutional Reform in Central and Eastern European Agriculture' co-ordinated by Dr Johan Swinnen from Leuven University. The authors benefitted a lot from the ideas and discussion with Dr Jo Swinnen on previous versions. The authors also thank Prof. Kenneth Thomson for his useful comments.