How Peasants Adapt: Large Farms and Farm Managers

  • Stephen K. Wegren

Abstract

Of the three main food producers in Russia—large farms, private farms, and households—it is clear that large farms were most affected by state urban bias and the elements thereof. During the 1990s, large farms experienced significant and prolonged reductions in gross output, their contribution to the gross domestic product declined, farm debt increased, and the number of unprofitable farms skyrocketed.1 Given the unfavorable macroeconomic and political environment in which large farms operated during much of the 1990s, it would be very easy to conclude that there was little adaptation in the Russian countryside. Indeed, some Western analysts have concluded that this is exactly the case, arguing that Russia has experienced “false transformations” or pro forma institutional change.2 Unfortunately, with few exceptions, the issue of rural change has not been explored systematically. One reason for this oversight is the relative difficulty of conducting research in rural areas. Unlike urban areas, rural areas are quite primitive, they are difficult to get to, logistics are complicated, and permission from sel’sovets (rural administrations) to work in villages can be problematic. Thus, at best, we are often left without a comprehensive, coherent picture of rural reality.

Keywords

Income Marketing Stratification Expense Resis 

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Notes

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© Stephen K. Wegren 2005

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  • Stephen K. Wegren

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