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Abstract

The paper presents a model of the agro-food system in a transition economy, which shows how the move from a planned to a market economy affects the production and consumption of goods and economic welfare. The model is then used to identify two complementary approaches for measuring the success of agricultural transition, where success is defined as increasing consumer welfare. The first approach is to identify and measure quantitative indicators of economic gain. The second is to identify the policies that would lead to greater welfare, and then measure the extent to which these policies have been implemented. An assessment of Russian agricultural reform using the two evaluation approaches shows that only modest progress has been made. Russia has not met the (perhaps overly optimistic) expectations of many observers that transition would substantially increase farm efficiency and productivity.

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