The Depressing Effect of Agricultural Institutions on the Prewar Japanese Economy
The question we address in this paper is why the Japanese miracle didn't take place until after World War II. For much of the pre-WWII period, Japan's real GNP per worker was not much more than a third of that of the U.S., with falling capital intensity. We argue that its major cause is a barrier that kept agricultural employment constant at about 14 million throughout the prewar period. In our two-sector neoclassical growth model, the barrier-induced sectoral mis-allocation of labor and a resulting disincentive for capital accumulation account well for the depressed output level. Were it not for the barrier, Japan's prewar GNP per worker would have been close to a half of the U.S. The labor barrier existed because, we argue, the prewar patriarchy, armed with paternalistic clauses in the prewar Civil Code, forced the son designated as heir to stay in agriculture.
|Date of creation:||Mar 2006|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Hayashi, Fumio and Edward C. Prescott. “The Depressing Effect of Agricultural Institutions on the Prewar Japanese Economy.” Journal of Political Economy 116, 4 (August 2008): 573-632.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- R. Anton Braun & Toshihiro Okada & Nao Sudo, 2008.
"U.S. R&D and Japanese Medium Term Cycles,"
Discussion Paper Series
43, School of Economics, Kwansei Gakuin University, revised Oct 2008.
- Douglas Gollin & Steven Parente & Richard Rogerson, 2003. "Structural Transformation and Cross-Country Income Differences," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000259, David K. Levine.
- Balke, Nathan S & Gordon, Robert J, 1989. "The Estimation of Prewar Gross National Product: Methodology and New Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(1), pages 38-92, February.
- Vollrath, Dietrich, 2009. "How important are dual economy effects for aggregate productivity?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 325-334, March.
- Hayami, Yujiro & Ogasawara, Junichi, 1999. "Changes in the Sources of Modern Economic Growth: Japan Compared with the United States," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 1-21, March.
- Caselli, Francesco, 2004.
"Accounting for Cross-Country Income Differences,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
4703, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Godo, Yoshihisa & Hayami, Yujiro, 2002. "Catching Up in Education in the Economic Catch-Up of Japan with the United States, 1890-1990," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50(4), pages 961-78, July.
- Browning, Martin & Deaton, Angus & Irish, Margaret, 1985. "A Profitable Approach to Labor Supply and Commodity Demands over the Life-Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(3), pages 503-43, May.
- King, Robert G. & Levine, Ross, 1994.
"Capital fundamentalism, economic development, and economic growth,"
Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy,
Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 259-292, June.
- King, Robert G. & Levine, Ross & DEC, 1994. "Capital fundamentalism, economic development, and economic growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1285, The World Bank.
- Peter Klenow & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 1997. "The Neoclassical Revival in Growth Economics: Has It Gone Too Far?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 73-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Echevarria, Cristina, 1997. "Changes in Sectoral Composition Associated with Economic Growth," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(2), pages 431-52, May.
- John Laitner, 2000. "Structural Change and Economic Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(3), pages 545-561.
This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12081. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.