Restructuring postponed? Large Russian farm enterprises 'Coping with the market'

Max Spoor*, Oane Visser

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The continued existence and predominance of large farm enterprises (LFEs) in Russian agriculture during the transition to a market economy is analysed using theories of transaction costs, coordination mechanisms and networks. A comparative analysis is presented of farm restructuring in two, highly contrasting survey regions. That analysis shows that LFEs have undertaken only partial restructuring, which has not lead to radical increases in output and productivity. Still, LFEs have kept functioning by adopting a rational strategy of 'coping with the market'. This entails their integration into processing and retailing, and building up new business (and social) networks while cultivating old ones. The network economy that has thus emerged has enabled them to stay afloat as social and economic units, in a form of 'paradoxical continuity'.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515-551
Number of pages37
JournalJournal of Peasant Studies
Volume31
Issue number3-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Max Spoor is Associate Professor of Transition Economics at the Institute of Social Studies (spoor@iss.nl), and Coordinator of the Centre for the Study of Transition and Development (CESTRAD), and currently Visiting Professor at CIDOB in Barcelona. Oane Visser is a PhD scholar, attached to the University of Nijmegen (o.visser@maw.kun.nl) and ISS/CESTRAD. The field research was made possible by a grant of the Netherlands Foundation for Scientific Research (NWO/42512009). We are grateful for the valuable comments on an earlier version of this article, provided by the editor of this special issue, Stephen Wegren, and for the editorial assistance of Michelle Luijben. However, all remaining errors are ours.

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