Draft animals as common property

The full title is “There Will Be Killing: Collectivization and Death of Draft Animals,” by Shuo Chen and Xiaohuan Lan.  Here is the abstract:

The elimination of private property rights can lead to inefficient use of productive assets. In China’s collectivization movement from 1955 to 1957, instead of transferring draft animals to the ownership of the collectives, peasants slaughtered them to keep the meat and hide. By comparing 1,600 counties that launched the movement in different years, the difference-in-differences estimates suggest that the animal loss during the movement was 12 to 15 percent, or 7.4–9.5 million head. Grain output dropped by 7 percent due to lower animal inputs and lower productivity.

Here are earlier, ungated copies.


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