IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Agricultural Production and Economic Growth in Ancient Japan: A Quantitative Analysis of Arable Land, Land Productivity and Agricultural Output

Listed author(s):
  • Masanori Takashima
Registered author(s):

    This paper presents a quantitative analysis of long-term economic growth and living standards in ancient Japan during the roughly 480 years comprising the Nara (710-794) and Heian (794-1195) periods. The analysis is conducted by estimating production in agriculture, which was the pillar of the economy of ancient Japan. Specifically, arable land, land productivity, and agricultural output are estimated for three benchmark years – 725, 900, and 1150 – using quantitative data obtained from ancient records. The results indicate that (1) economic growth in ancient Japan was relatively steady and moderate, and (2) agricultural output per capita was very low and ordinary farmers must have struggled to survive on their income from agricultural sources alone. The findings thus suggest that ancient Japan was reliant on agriculture, which however, was poorly developed and showed little technological development, so that there was little economic growth.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University in its series Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series with number gd11-223.

    in new window

    Date of creation: Feb 2012
    Handle: RePEc:hst:ghsdps:gd11-223
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    2-1 Naka, Kunitachi City, Tokyo 186

    Phone: +81-42-580-8327
    Fax: +81-42-580-8333
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hst:ghsdps:gd11-223. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Tatsuji Makino)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.