Patterns of Rural Non-Farm Diversification and Employment in Romania: A County Level Analysis

49 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2005

See all articles by Junior R. Davis

Junior R. Davis

United Nations - Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

Adriana Cristoiu

Imperial College London

Date Written: January 2002


The radical changes that have occurred in the Romanian economy during the last decade have created new pressures on the country's rural areas. Increasing industrial unemployment generated an urban-rural migratory flow of the population. The collapse of the agri-industrial processing and industrial sector increased rural unemployment. Since 1991, land reform has also generated new relationships in rural areas, and a massive redistribution of land. However, agriculture continues to function inefficiently, and is unable to provide a decent and sustainable standard of living for most rural inhabitants. Therefore, many donors and multilateral agencies are focusing on the potential of the rural non-farm economy (RNFE) and more specifically, Non-Farm Diversification (henceforth NFD) to reduce rural underemployment. NFD through the development of the RNFE may also provide means of increasing rural incomes, assist the improved utilisation of locally available resources and promote a better standard of living for rural population through enhanced non-farm employment opportunities and growth. There are several reasons underlying the rural poor' decision to diversify: low on-farm incomes or returns on labour, the existence of a surplus of resources (land, capital, labour or knowledge), as a strategy to spread risk, or to smooth the impact of the fluctuations in a unique source of income (e.g. agriculture). The present paper relies on community-level data from a survey conducted in two Romanian Counties, Dolj and Brasov, to analyse the main determinants of NFD in rural areas. The main findings are placed in a national context and policy proposals are advanced.

Keywords: diversification, rural-non-farm economy, off-farm income, transition, rural development, employment, growth

JEL Classification: O13, O18, O57, P20

Suggested Citation

Davis, Junior R. and Cristoiu, Adriana, Patterns of Rural Non-Farm Diversification and Employment in Romania: A County Level Analysis (January 2002). Available at SSRN: or

Junior R. Davis (Contact Author)

United Nations - Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) ( email )

Palais des Nations
Office E 8074
Geneva, 1211
+41(0)229172033 (Phone)

Adriana Cristoiu

Imperial College London ( email )

United Kingdom

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics