Property Rights in Land and Output Growth in Russia during Expansion Periods (2001-2008, 2010-2014)
This paper tests whether the implementation of a key market-oriented reform in post-Soviet Russia, property rights in land, proxied by the percent of privatized land by region, affected the pace of sub-national economic growth during two unprecedented expansion periods: 2001-2008 and 2010-2014. Individuals gained the Constitutional right to own land in 1993, but implementation was stalled. The pace of land privatization can be explained by arguably exogenous factors such as distance to Moscow, as well as climate and also regional political culture, proxied by concentration of votes in the 2004 presidential election. We show that this rate of land privatization in Russia’s regions was significantly associated with output growth in 2010-2014, confirming the policy importance of this measure for developing economies. Regions where private holdings expanded most rapidly with the enforcement of property rights in land, gained a competitive advantage in the growth process through increased investment in fixed assets and private consumption.