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This paper evaluates the impact of property rights, labor mobility barriers and degrees of collectivization on China’s agricultural growth in 1950-1978. Using a semi-Bayesian stochastic frontier analysis, we find that collective production with free labor mobility and private property rights was the most efficient institutional setting. Although deviations from the two institutions resulted in a decline in agricultural production, the loss in agricultural production from labor mobility barriers was up to five times greater than loss from depriving farmers of private property rights.


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