An unusually detailed sample of large farms in Rostov, Ivanovo and Nizhny Novgorod regions of Russia in 2001 allows microeconomic examination of the production of grain and sunflower crops on Russian farms. Farms are found to have some excess capital and labour, but not land and other types of capital. New operators are found to be more efficient than other farms thought they do not necessarily produce more output. Neither rural infrastructure, location nor specialisation has a clear impact on farm efficiency. How workers are paid is found to be a potential short‐term method for improving farm efficiency that would not involve major farm restructuring.
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