The collapse of communism in Romania held the promise of a revival of private, small-scale farming. It was expected that collectivized agricultural producers would quickly return to private farming, which was thought to be more desirable in terms of economic efficiency. Overall, however, the Romanian transition experience has not fulfilled these expectations; the agricultural sector has become stagnant and cooperative farms have remained remarkably persistent throughout the southern region.
Cooperation in the Romanian Countryside explores the apparent conundrum in farmer behavior in the context of market transition, asking why farmers are continuing to join cooperative forms of farming, against all probably theories, and what efficiency might, in fact, be gained from these cooperative endeavors. Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, Rachel Sabates-Wheeler deftly analyzes how participation in different farm forms helps or hinders landowners as they attempt to adapt in newly privatized markets. This book is of essential importance to agricultural economists and rural development specialists, especially in transitional countries.