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Impact of Land Reform Strategies on Rural Poverty in the Commonwealth of Independent States

Comparison between Georgia and Moldova


Kerstin Kötschau

This study aimed at analysing the impact of two different land reform strategies on rural poverty in CIS countries, particularly in Georgia and Moldova. While Georgia distributed agricultural land parcels directly to the population at the beginning of the 1990ies, Moldova transferred land via paper shares for undemarcated land parcels. This study is based on household data, which were collected during household surveys in Georgia and Moldova in 2007 and 2008. The data had been used in order to analyse the impact of land reform on the endowment with land and other capital, the use of capital and the access to markets and credits as well as the importance of agricultural employment for rural households. A logit analysis had been run in order to detect the determinants of poverty.


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Part II: Conceptual and TheoreticalBackground


Part II: Conceptual and Theoretical Background 3. Agrarian Institutions and Agrarian Structure To understand the reasons and the development of rural poverty an analysis of the surrounding circumstances of rural households is necessary. This surround- ing is reflected in the agrarian institution and the agrarian structure, which de- termines the social, political, and economic framework, within which rural households live and work. This chapter aims at presenting the fundamentals for living conditions in rural areas as well as the impact of agrarian reforms on the agricultural institution and structure. It starts with a definition and description of the agrarian institution and the agrarian structure. After general remarks about the definitions of poverty and measurements, the determinants of rural poverty under consideration of the agrarian institution and structure will be addressed. 3.1 Definitions The living conditions for households in rural areas depend on the political, so- cial, and economic framework. There are broad differences in the definition be- tween the German and the Anglophone literature on agricultural science. The German definition is based on the terms “Agrarverfassung” and “Agrarstruktur”. While the latter one is also used in the Anglophone area, known as “agricultural structure”, “Agrarverfassung” does not have a direct translation (KRAIN 1998, p.3f). KUHNEN (1982a, p.69) prefers the translation of “Agrarverfassung” into “land tenure”. According to KRAIN (1998, p. 3f) LIPINSKY (1990/91) recom- mends a translation into agrarian constitution which is not yet used in Anglo- phone literature. KRAIN (1998) prefers a translation into “agrarian constitution” or “agrarian institution” rather...

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