According to the conventional view, serfdom in nineteenth-century Russia inhibited economic growth. In this view Russian peasants' status as serfs kept them poor through burdensome taxes in cash, in labor, and in kind; through restrictions on mobility; and through various forms of coercion. Melton, however, argues that serfdom was perfectly compatible with economic growth, because many Russian serfs were able to get around landlords' rules and regulations. If serfs could pay for passports, they were usually granted permission to leave the estate. If they could pay the fine, they could establish a separate household; and if they had the resources, they could hire laborers to cultivate the communal lands, while they themselves engaged in trade or worked as migrant laborers in cities.