The Stolypin Reform and Agricultural Productivity in Late Imperial Russia.
Paul Castañeda Dower
Florida International University
New Economic School
June 3, 2016
We study the effect of improvements in peasants’ land tenure, launched by the 1906 Stolypin reform, on agricultural productivity in late Imperial Russia. The reform allowed peasants to obtain land titles and consolidate separated land strips into single allotments. We find that consolidations increased land productivity. If the reform had been fully implemented, it would have doubled grain production in the empire. We argue that an important factor determining the positive impact on productivity is a decrease in coordination costs, enabling peasants to make independent production decisions from the village commune. In contrast, the titling component of the reform decreased land productivity and we present evidence that transaction costs explain this short-run decline.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 41
Keywords: Land Tenure, Peasant Commune, Stolypin Reform, Russia
JEL Classification: N43, N53, O43, Q15
Date posted: December 1, 2013 ; Last revised: September 28, 2016