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Cause and effect on 3-tier collective ownership in rural areas (No 169, 2014)


By Zhang Yunhua, Research Department of Industrial Economy, Development Research Center of the State Council (DRC)

Report No 169, 2014 (Total 4668)


The rural collective ownership came into being during the agricultural production cooperation period when there was a 2-tier system characterized by unified operations and separate management of the cooperatives and production teams. During the people's commune period, the rural collective ownership evolved, from people's commune that was large in size and collective by nature, into team-based 3-tier collectives. After the rural reforms, team-based 3-tier collective ownership still existed but had changed into an operating system with 3-tier collective ownership with villages and groups the main property holders and peasant households the main body of production.

The rural reforms solved the problem of land operation but failed to address the problems with 3-tier collective ownership in rural areas, resulting in vague collective property rights, big collectives infringing on the interests of smaller ones, village-level collectives and peasants denied town-level collective asset rights and the disablement of small groups.

A collective ownership reform is expected to clarify town-, village-, and group-level collective rights, to establish equal relations among the 3-tier collective ownership, and to explore town-level peasant collectives and new village- and group-level collective relations.