This project will examine the relationship between federal or national-level agricultural reform in contemporary Russia and Ukraine and the implementation of reforms at the village level. The research will focus on informal constraints - in particular, gray-market transactions - on the capacity of local institutions to carry out land refonn. Fieldwork will be conducted in the black earth, or chernozem regions of southwestern Russia and Eastern Ukraine. These regions possess highly similar climates, soil conditions, and institutional infrastructure. Current economic conditions, then, should reflect the different paths to reform undertaken by the central governments of these two states. I hypothesize that the speed and sequence of refonn is not as important as local variation in institutional capacity and constraints in determining reform outcomes. I will explore this possibility through a cross-regional comparative study of land refonn and farm enterprise reorganization in Russia and Ukraine.