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06 Aug 2013

Does it matter how much land your neighbour owns? The functioning of land markets in Poland from a social comparison perspective

Jan Fałkowski

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While many factors have been studied in relation to the functioning of land markets, the role of land distribution has received relatively little attention. In this paper, we ask to what extent farmers’ propensity to buy land is related to the difference between them and their neighbours in terms of land ownership. To this end, we employ the concept of relative deprivation. Drawing on micro-level data from the transition period in Poland and using both OLS and instrumental variables strategy, we find that interpersonal comparisons with others in one’s reference group may have motivated a farmer’s behaviour in the land market. In particular, the propensity to purchase land is positively associated with experiencing higher relative deprivation. In addition, this relationship waned over time in a predictable manner: late in the transition period it was weaker than at the beginning of the period

Jan Fa?kowski, PhD, is a researcher at the Faculty of Economic Sciences (Chair of Political Economy), University of Warsaw.