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Historical Sources of Institutional Trajectories in Economic Development: China, Japan, and Korea Compared

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  • Aoki, Masahiko

    (Asian Development Bank Institute)

Abstract

This essay provides a game-theoretic, endogenous view of institutions, and then applies the idea to identify the sources of institutional trajectories of economic development in China, Japan, and Korea. It stylizes the Malthusian-phase of East Asian economies as peasant-based economies in which small families allocated their working time between farming on small plots—leased or owned—and handcrafting for personal consumption and markets. It then compares institutional arrangements across these economies that sustained otherwise similar economies. It characterizes the varied nature of the political states of Qing China, Tokugawa Japan, and Yi Korea by focusing on the way in which agricultural taxes were enforced. It also identifies different patterns of social norms of trust that were institutional complements to, or substitutes for, political states. Finally, it traces the path-dependent transformations of these state-norm combinations along subsequent transitions to post-Malthusian phases of economic growth in the respective economies.

Suggested Citation

  • Aoki, Masahiko, 2012. "Historical Sources of Institutional Trajectories in Economic Development: China, Japan, and Korea Compared," ADBI Working Papers 397, Asian Development Bank Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:adbiwp:0397
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Aoki, Masahiko, 2010. "Corporations in Evolving Diversity: Cognition, Governance, and Institutions," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199218530.
    2. Gary D. Hansen & Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "Malthus to Solow," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1205-1217, September.
    3. Aoki, Masahiko & Rothwell, Geoffrey, 2013. "A comparative institutional analysis of the Fukushima nuclear disaster: Lessons and policy implications," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 240-247.
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    6. Masahiko Aoki, 2013. "Institutions as cognitive media between strategic interactions and individual beliefs," Chapters,in: Comparative Institutional Analysis, chapter 17, pages 298-312 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    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, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Felipe, Jesus & Bayudan-Dacuycuy, Connie & Lanzafame, Matteo, 2016. "The declining share of agricultural employment in China: How fast?," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 127-137.
    2. Andrea Fracasso, 2015. "Economic Rebalancing and Growth: the Japanese experience and China’s prospects," DEM Discussion Papers 2015/07, Department of Economics and Management.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    china; japan; institutional complementarity; institutional change; capitalism; varieties of norms; political economy;

    JEL classification:

    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East
    • P51 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Analysis of Economic Systems

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