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Determinants of Smallholders’ Decisions to Leave Land Fallow: The Case of Kosovo


  • Johannes Sauer,

  • Sophia Davidova,

  • Laure Latruffe

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    • Johannes Sauer is a senior lecturer in Environmental Economics in the Department of Economics, Manchester University, Sophia Davidova is a Professor of European Agricultural Policy in the School of Economics, University of Kent, and Laure Latruffe is a researcher in INRA, UMR1302 SMART, Rennes, France. Contact: Laure Latruffe, INRA – UMR SMART, 4 Allée Bobierre, CS 61103 Rennes 35011, France. E-mail: for correspondence. The authors are grateful to Yann Desjeux for his work on the dataset, and to two anonymous reviewers for their comments on an earlier draft of this paper.


This article investigates why farmers in Kosovo leave land fallow when their farms’ total land area is small and households, almost fully dependent on farming for their livelihoods, are large. It uses a comprehensive survey carried out during the agricultural year 2005/2006 to explore agricultural households’ perceptions of production, market conditions and general security 6 years after the end of the military conflict in the former Yugoslavia. Several locational, household and farm characteristics empirically approximate the significance of different factors for the amount of land left idle. Two different econometric models are used to address the characteristics of the dependent variable distribution by accounting for endogeneity. The main determinants of the share of land left fallow are found to be related to the economic and institutional structure, and to the general feeling of insecurity.