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The Peasant Household Economy and Decollectivization in China

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"A critical problem of the people's commune system was the inability to resolve the "free rider" problem within the framework of collective agriculture. The appeal of household production to both the State and peasants has been the dramatic increase in agricultural productivity and household income. Unlike collective farming, household production minimizes the "free rider" dilemma. Decollectivization and the expansion of rural markets has brought about significant socio-economic changes in the Chinese countryside, some unintended by State reformers. These unintended consequences of decollectivization, however, threaten to undermine the social goals of the Chinese Communist Party."

Affiliations: 1: Cornell University, Ithaca, U.S.A.

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