Chayanov A.V. Peasant economy in Belgium (Article of A.V. Chayanov) // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2019. V.4. №4. P. 53-57.
This is an early work of Alexander Chayanov first published in the journal Krestyanskoe delo (Peasant Work) in 1910. The article is based on Chayanov’s observations during his stay in Belgium in summer of 1909, when, according to one of his biographers, he tried to find development models for the Russian agriculture. On behalf of the Belgian farmer Octave Colyar, Chayanov described the changes in the Belgian agriculture after the great agricultural crisis (depression) of the late 19th century. The inflow of North-American and Russian grain to the Belgian market (the so-called ‘grain invasion’) had negative impact on prices and made agricultural producers change their specialization—Belgium turned from an exporter of grain to an exporter of livestock products. The article presents Chayanov at the beginning of his career, before the development of his theory of consumption-labor balance. Not only in his early works but also throughout his career, Chayanov used the comparative method to study the agricultural development of Russia and Western Europe. However, the Belgian case was one of the most important. In this article, Chayanov is an agrarian economist, sociologist and rural anthropologist presenting a detailed portrait of the peasant based on the history of his economy.
The publication with comments was prepared by V.O. Afanasenkov.
agrarian history, Chayanov, Belgium, global agricultural crisis, ‘grain invasion’, peasant economy
About the authors
Editor: Vladislav O. Afanasenkov—Researcher, Chayanov Research Center, Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences. 119571, Moscow, Vernadskogo Prosp., 82.