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William Pyle (Middlebury College): Land rights, industry and the post-socialist cityscape

Abstract
Across the former socialist countries, planners made industrial location decisions in relative ignorance of land’s opportunity costs, leaving behind a legacy of inefficiently organized, factory-dominated cityscapes. Drawing on unique survey evidence and policy variation across territorial units within Russia, this article explores how land tenure reforms influence the pace at which the legacy of socialist spatial misallocation is being erased. Specifically, the evidence suggests that the privatization of land underneath Russia’s industrial enterprises has promoted land reallocation. By unlocking valuable real estate from planner-ascribed purposes, property rights reforms help deindustrialize the country’s hyper-industrialized cities.


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