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Article

Changes in Russia’s agrarian structure: what can we learn from agricultural census?

Russian Journal of Economics. 2020. No. 6(1). P. 26-41.

The classification of agricultural producers by legal-organizational form (agricultural enterprises, peasant (family farms), household plots and gardening associations), traditionally used by the Russian official statistics, is outdated and masks the dynamic changes that have taken place. Due to the lack of output and sales data in 2016 agricultural census, the paper uses some assumptions to calculate the so called “standard revenue” as a measure of the potential output in each census farm. The results highlight that there is only a small share of commercial production units in Russia and there is high heterogeneity of agricultural producers within each legal-organizational farm type. Contrary to a priori expectations, a large number of household plots became commercialized between the previous census in 2006 and the latest census in 2016 and they contribute 19% of the standard revenue of all commercial census units, more than the share of family farms. These results suggest that the old classification used for statistical purposes does not reflect adequately the dynamic changes stemming from the response to market signals.