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Was the Barrier to Labor Mobility an Important Factor for the Prewar Japanese Stagnation?

  • Aoki, Shuhei

Using a simple framework, I reexamine the Hayashi and Prescott hypothesis (2006) that a barrier to labor mobility that maintained high agricultural employment was a cause of the stagnation in the prewar Japanese economy. I find that the labor misallocation between the agricultural and non-agricultural sectors had larger negative effects on the prewar Japanese aggregate productivity than on the postwar aggregate productivity. However, this is not because the wage differential between the sectors was larger but because the agricultural nominal share was larger in prewar Japan. Finally, I show that a model that does not assume a barrier to labor mobility can explain the change in the prewar and postwar agricultural employment rate and nominal share. These results suggest that factors other than labor misallocation are responsible for the stagnation in the prewar Japanese economy.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 8178.

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Date of creation: 09 Apr 2008
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:8178
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  1. Diego Restuccia & Richard Rogerson, 2007. "Policy Distortions and Aggregate Productivity with Heterogeneous Plants," NBER Working Papers 13018, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Gollin, Douglas & Parente, Stephen L. & Rogerson, Richard, 2007. "The food problem and the evolution of international income levels," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 1230-1255, May.
  3. Margarida Duarte & Diego Restuccia, 2009. "The Role of the Structural Transformation in Aggregate Productivity," Working Papers tecipa-348, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  4. Douglas Gollin & Stephen Parente & Richard Rogerson, 2002. "The Role of Agriculture in Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 160-164, May.
  5. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Peter J. Klenow, 2007. "Misallocation and Manufacturing TFP in China and India," Discussion Papers 07-006, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  6. Diego Restuccia & Dennis Tao Yang & Xiaodong Zhu, 2003. "Agriculture and Aggregate Productivity: A Quantitative Cross-Country Analysis," Working Papers diegor-03-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  7. Fumio Hayashi & Edward C. Prescott, 2008. "The Depressing Effect of Agricultural Institutions on the Prewar Japanese Economy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(4), pages 573-632, 08.
  8. Laura Alfaro & Andrew Charlton & Fabio Kanczuk, 2008. "Plant-Size Distribution and Cross-Country Income Differences," NBER Working Papers 14060, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Laitner, John, 2000. "Structural Change and Economic Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 545-61, July.
  10. Chang, Tai Hsieh & Peter, J- Klenow, 2007. "Misallocation and manufacturing TFP in China and India," MPRA Paper 35084, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 15 Jun 2007.
  11. Diewert, W Erwin, 1978. "Superlative Index Numbers and Consistency in Aggregation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(4), pages 883-900, July.
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