Pre-modern economic growth revisited: Japan and the West
AbstractIn early modern north-western Europe, real wages declined while GDP per capita was on the increase. In contrast, wage growth in Tokugawa Japan went hand in hand with output growth. Based on this finding, the paper revisits Thomas Smith’s thesis on ‘Pre-modern Economic Growth: Japan and the West’. It is suggested that the common denominator found in both European and Japanese cases was market-led, ‘Smithian growth’. However, unlike north-western Europe, there was no room for mercantile or agricultural capitalism playing a part. Also, Tokugawa growth was not associated with increased income inequality. All this accounted for the slower pace of growth and the absence of any gap between real wage growth and per-capita GDP growth in Japan's pre-modern economic regime.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History in its series Economic History Working Papers with number 22475.
Length: 62 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2005
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- N0 - Economic History - - General
- O52 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe
- O53 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East
- B1 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925
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- Minami, Ryoshin, 1998. "Economic Development and Income Distribution in Japan: An Assessment of the Kuznets Hypothesis," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(1), pages 39-58, January.
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- Koyama, Mark, 2012. "The transformation of labor supply in the pre-industrial world," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 505-523.
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