Slav Macedonians - Economy

Subsistence and Commercial Activities. As a result of Yugoslav industrial policy, enterprises employing more than five people could not be privately owned. This resulted in the proliferation of either very small businesses or large state-regulated enterprises. Subsistence agriculture has declined in importance. Commercial activity has become concentrated in the towns.

Industrial Arts. Macedonia has many mines for the extraction of iron, zinc, and chromium. Large textile factories have replaced the small, family-based looms that existed until World War II. The region is famous for its tobacco, the cultivation and processing of which provides jobs for thousands of people. Hydroelectric plants dot the landscape, taking advantage of the abundant water supply of the region.

Trade. Macedonia is a net exporter of electric power, mostly to parts of Yugoslavia. It also exports mining products. Aside from tobacco, which is the single largest export, it also exports textiles, leather, porcelain, glass, and cement. In Return it imports industrial and agricultural machinery as well as a wide array of food and consumer products. Formerly, most of the import-export business with foreign countries was handled through the federal capital at Belgrade.

Division of Labor. With the advent of industrialization under communism, Macedonia's traditional division of labor broke down to yield to the demands of industry. In the traditional peasant society women were responsible for the Household upkeep and child rearing, as well as assisting men in the fields. During periods when intense labor was required, the children and elderly of both sexes became involved in the fields as well.

Land Tenure. Small peasant landholdings for the most part were replaced by large cooperatives as a result of the Yugoslav policies. These cooperatives fell into two distinct categories: 1) the "general agricultural cooperatives," which were more like purchase and sale organizations where members were allowed to keep their own small plots; and 2) the "Peasant work cooperatives," where labor, equipment, and land were pooled and members were bound by three-year contracts.

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