Eastern European Economics vol:51 issue:1 pages:61-85
The distribution of land rights is a very important economic
and political issue, and it played a central role in the transition processes in Europe and Asia. This paper analyzes the impact of the distribution of land on household welfare by using subjective well-being data from a rural household survey in Moldova, the poorest country in Europe. The recent land reform in Moldova provides a natural experiment on the impact of land ownership distribution on subjective well-being. We find that household land holdings have a positive effect on subjective well-being, but neighbors’ average land holdings have a negative effect on subjective well-being. People,
regardless of the land distribution and even given the relatively low living standards of these households, rate their welfare by looking at how much other people possess.