This dissertation examines the conditions that facilitate or impede the transformation of land rights from common to individual property. It does so by focusing on cotton-growing areas of Tajikistan, which exhibit substantial variation in patterns of land tenure arrangement. Specifically, the project addresses the following questions: Why, despite efforts by state and international organizations to support land reform, some, but not other, farmworkers established individual tenure by withdrawing their land shares from collective peasant farms? Why do some cotton-growing areas have more agricultural land held in family farms, whereas other areas in collective peasant farms? Drawing on the distributional theory of property rights, I argue that to understand why land tenure reform has unfolded as it did in Tajikistan, one has to consider the effect of land reform strategy, land allocation formula, observable resources such as off-farm income, and reliability of access to water and its interaction with the level of labor supply. These factors affect the bargaining power of Soviet rural elites-turned-managers of collective peasant farms, who resist land subdivision, and Soviet farmworkers-turned-shareholders, who prefer land individualization, and as a consequence cause much of the variability one observes in patterns of land redistribution. Predicated on qualitative (interviews and participant observations), and quantitative (multilevel linear and logistic models) methods of analysis, the findings of this dissertation have implications for the literature on property rights, decentralization, and the postcommunist literature on land reform, and generate policy implications that might be relevant to government and international organizations involved in promoting land reform in Tajikistan and other developing countries.
|Commitee:||Bielasiak, Jack, Bovingdon, Gardner, Spechler, Dina, Van Atta, Don|
|School Location:||United States -- Indiana|
|Source:||DAI-A 77/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Agricultural economics, Political science, Public policy|
|Keywords:||Central Asia, Cotton, Institutions, Land reform, Postcommunism, Property rights|
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