Social Indicators Research

, Volume 89, Issue 1, pp 113–127 | Cite as

Informal Food Production in the Enlarged European Union

  • Jens Alber
  • Ulrich KohlerEmail author


How widespread is the production of food in old and new member states of the European Union and what is the social meaning or logic of such activities? We show that growing food is (a) more widespread in former communist countries than in traditional market economies and (b) is predominantly a hobby or recreational activity in affluent countries, but a coping strategy in reaction to experienced difficulties in making ends meet in poorer nations, and especially so in the former communist countries.


Subsistence economy Subjective well-being Transformation countries Food production 



We wish to thank Jan Paul Heisig and an anonymous reviewer of Social Indicators Research for very helpful comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Inequality and Social IntegrationSocial Science Research Center (WZB)BerlinGermany

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