The Rural Economy and Households in China and Russia

A comparison

Authored by: Michael Cuddy , Pauric Brophy , Hongmei Liu

Handbook of the Economics and Political Economy of Transition

Print publication date:  April  2013
Online publication date:  May  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415591126
eBook ISBN: 9780203067901
Adobe ISBN: 9781135080877


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Dispersed population, or lack of population concentration, and heavy dependence on the primary sector are key factors in defining rural and its attendant endemic problems. Heavy dependence on agriculture with its low value added and declining terms of trade gives rise to low incomes per capita relative to non-farm activities. Low value added combined with productivity-enhancing technology gives rise to surplus labour and out-migration. Over a long-term horizon, changing technology, the evolving economic environment and policy intervention inexorably leads to a relative decline in the employment provided by the agricultural sector in most developed economies. The speed with which such structural adjustment takes place determines the level and extent of inequality between farm and non-farm and rural and urban households.

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