15 Feb 2012

Ownership and Investment Behaviour in Transition Countries: A Case Study of Collective and Corporate Farms in the Czech Republic

Jarmila Curtiss / Tomáš Ratinger / Tomáš Medonos

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Cooperative and corporate farms have retained an important role for agricultural production in many transition countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Despite this importance, these farms' ownership structure, and particularly the ownership's effect on their investment activity, which is vital for efficient restructuring and the sector's future development, are still not well understood. This paper explores the ownership-investment relationship using data on Czech farms from 1997 to 2008. We allow for ownership-specific variability in farm investment behaviour analyzed by utilizing an error-correction accelerator model. Empirical results suggest significant differences in the level of investment activity, responsiveness to market signals, investment lumpiness, as well as investment sensitivity to financial variables among farms with different ownership characteristics. These differences imply that the internal structure of the Czech cooperative and corporate farms will be developing in the direction of a decreasing number of owners and an increasing ownership concentration.

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