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International Comparison in Historical Perspective: Reconstructing the 1934-36 Benchmark Purchasing Power Parity for Japan, Korea and Taiwan

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  • Fukao, Kyoji
  • Ma, Debin
  • Yuan, Tangjun

Abstract

This paper provides the first estimate of consumption purchasing power parity (PPP) converters for 1934-36 Japan, Korea and Taiwan by matching prices of more than 50 types of goods and services with consumption weights derived from household expenditure surveys. We find that the 1934-6 average consumer prices of Korea and Taiwan were about 0.86 and 0.84 times that of Japan respectively. Using our new benchmark estimate, we make a theoretical and empirical investigation on the possible sources of biases in existing estimates based on the exchange rate conversion and the 1990 backward projected method. Our estimate provides a vital link that allows us to conduct an overall review of structural change, ethnic income distribution and the historical trend of economic convergence or divergence for these three economies in the past century.

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File URL: http://hermes-ir.lib.hit-u.ac.jp/rs/bitstream/10086/13860/1/DP442.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University in its series Discussion Paper Series with number a442.

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Length: 41 p.
Date of creation: Sep 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hit:hituec:a442

Note: Bibliography: p. 24-25
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  1. Bhagwati, Jagdish N, 1984. "Why Are Services Cheaper in the Poor Countries?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(374), pages 279-86, June.
  2. "Yuan, Tangjun" & "Fukao, Kyoji", 2002. "The Purchasing Power Parity of Japan, Korea and Taiwan in the 1930s―An International Comparison of Real Consumption―," Economic Review, Hitotsubashi University, vol. 53(4), pages 322-336, January.
  3. Summers, Robert & Heston, Alan, 1991. "The Penn World Table (Mark 5): An Expanded Set of International Comparisons, 1950-1988," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 327-68, May.
  4. Bela Balassa, 1964. "The Purchasing-Power Parity Doctrine: A Reappraisal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72, pages 584.
  5. van Zanden, Jan Luiten, 2003. "Rich and poor before the Industrial Revolution: a comparison between Java and the Netherlands at the beginning of the 19th century," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 1-23, January.
  6. Prados de la Escosura, Leandro, 2000. "International Comparisons of Real Product, 1820-1990: An Alternative Data Set," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 1-41, January.
  7. Kravis, Irving B, 1984. "Comparative Studies of National Incomes and Prices," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 22(1), pages 1-39, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Myung Soo Cha, 2012. "Wage Convergence and Divergence in East Asia, 1900-39," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd12-253, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.

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