Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Resource Economics

Transition countries

Post-socialist institutional change taking place in transition countries represents a particular challenge to developing sustainable systems. In particular, processes of privatisation and restructuring of agricultural land have to be considered as complex and diverse phenomena of institutional change. The Division of Resource Economics has done extensive research on sustainable agriculture and property rights reform of agricultural land and non-land assets in Central and Eastern European countries, for example in the CEESA and the KATO Projects. Among many other results the research shows the crucial role of the ownership-status of land after collectivisation or nationalisation, the ethnicity of asset ownership prior to the socialist era, the equality of asset distribution before collectivisation or nationalisation, and the persistence of social values, human capital and informal institutions. It also becomes evident that property rights reform cannot only be conceived of as establishing effective private property rights, because all types of property rights and property rights on different attributes of land and related natural resources like water and biodiversity are in a process of change, and the directions of change may be quite heterogeneous. Also the role of shared mental models in transition societies and the importance of social capital for successful institutional change became evident.


More information related to the topic „Post-socialist Transition“ please find in the following paper:

Hagedorn, Konrad (2004): Property Rights Reform on Agricultural Land in Central and Eastern Europe. Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture, 43(4): 409-438