Agriculture and Economic Growth: Japan's Experience

Agriculture and Economic Growth: Japan's Experience

Kazushi Ohkawa
Bruce F. Johnston
Hiromitsu Kaneda
Copyright Date: 1969
Pages: 455
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt13x1bm5
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  • Book Info
    Agriculture and Economic Growth: Japan's Experience
    Book Description:

    This book contains updated versions of a set of papers presented at the International Conference on Agriculture and Economic Development-A Symposium on Japan's Experience which was held in Tokyo, July, 1967. These papers make a comprehensive reappraisal of Japan's agricultural development and its relevance to economic growth over the last 100 years. They emphasize long-term studies in analyzing Japan's agricultural development, with the century following the Meiji Restoration as the historical setting. Intensive consideration is also given to the Meiji Era, 1868-1912.

    Part I considers the historical phases of Japan's development, and attempts to give a comprehensive exposition of Japan's long-term growth. Part II deals with productivity growth and technological progress; Part III treats agricultural population and labor force; Part IV includes papers dealing with exports of primary products, credit and financial institutions, farm-household savings, the impact of Land Reform, and food consumption patterns.

    Originally published in 1970.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-7203-9
    Subjects: History, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. EDITORS’ PREFACE
    (pp. v-xiii)
    Kazushi Ohkawa, Bruce F. Johnston and Hiromitsu Kaneda
  3. FOREWORD
    (pp. xiv-xx)
    Theodore W. Schultz

    We have here the core of the best International Conference I have had the privilege to attend. It is most assuredly a landmark. The topics, the approach, and the analysis, both theoretical and empirical in solving real problems, make it quite valuable to economists. It adds depth to our understanding of the modernization of agriculture and economic growth. Those who planned the program and those who prepared the main papers that we discussed at the Conference avoided the many empty topics which have been so fashionable in recent years. The economic perversity of fanners is not here—thank goodness! Nor...

  4. PART I
    • Table of Contents
      (pp. xxi-xxii)
    • CHAPTER 1 PHASES OF AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT AND ECONOMIC GROWTH
      (pp. 3-36)
      Kazushi Ohkawa

      All the papers presented in this volume analyze specific topics, selected individually by each author, contributing much to our further understanding of various aspects of agricultural development and its relation to economic growth in Japan. Taken together, they seem to cover adequately, if not completely, all the important aspects of our subject. The purpose of this chapter is, therefore, not to analyze an additional topic, but to present a summary discussion. Although such a summary discussion could have been presented as a comprehensive account of the findings of the individual papers, I have instead attempted to describe historically the overall...

    • CHAPTER 2 THE FINANCING OF JAPANESE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
      (pp. 37-57)
      Gustav Ranis

      An economy which is able to achieve only subsistence levels of income by means of a full and optimum utilization of its resources is in serious difficulties. Unless it can count on extensive credit from abroad, it may be properly identified as “doomed” rather than “underdeveloped.” Domestic capital formation must carry the heaviest burden in any developmental effort and there is very little which can be squeezed out at near-subsistence levels of income and consumption. Happily, most of the world’s low income areas are not “doomed” in this sense. Reserves of productivity usually do exist somewhere in the underdeveloped economy;...

    • CHAPTER 3 THE JAPANESE “MODEL” OF AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT: ITS RELEVANCE TO DEVELOPING NATIONS
      (pp. 58-102)
      Bruce F. Johnston

      A considerable consensus seems to have emerged concerning the strategic role of agricultural development in the economic growth of Japan. Three features of agriculture's role have been specially emphasized. First is the fact that agricultural output has been increased with remarkably small demands on the critically scarce resources of capital and foreign exchange. This was possible because of increases in the productivity of the existing on-farm resources of labor and land; and it was done within the framework of the existing small-scale agriculture. Secondly, agricultural and industrial development went forward together in a process of “concurrent” growth. Expansion of the...

  5. PART II
    • CHAPTER 4 AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTIVITY AT THE BEGINNING OF INDUSTRIALIZATION
      (pp. 105-135)
      Yūjirō Hayami and Saburō Yamada

      Industrialization and modern economic growth are basically conditioned by the level of agricultural productivity inherited from the pre-modern period. On the basis of the growth experiences of Western nations, especially England, an agricultural revolution and a subsequent rise in agricultural productivity are often considered prerequisites for take-off or the initial spurt of industrialization.¹ This hypothesis is called the “prerequisite thesis.”

      According to a well-established thesis postulated primarily on official government statistics, the economic growth of Japan is unique in that the rapid growth of agricultural productivity from a level prevalent in monsoon Asia occurred not before, but side by side...

    • CHAPTER 5 TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE IN JAPANESE AGRICULTURE: A LONG-TERM ANALYSIS
      (pp. 136-154)
      Shūjirō Sawada

      The object of this paper is to undertake the controversial subject of measuring the effects of technological change in Japanese agriculture since the Meiji Era. This paper does not offer a new technique of measurement, but attempts to measure the effects of technological change with the “residual” model first, and a CES type of function next. I feel it is necessary to offer a few words of explanation as to why I take up these two models for the present purpose and to refer briefly to past studies made in this field.

      We have only a small number of studies...

    • CHAPTER 6 ECONOMICS OF MECHANIZATION IN SMALL-SCALE AGRICULTURE
      (pp. 155-172)
      Keizō Tsuchiya

      In this paper it will be our objective to study the economics of mechanization in small-scale farming in Japan, the most crucial elements of which can be seen in Tables 1 and 2. Table 1 shows the trend of increase of major types of farm equipment. In 1931 there were only about 100 power tillers; in 1937 there were approximately 1,000, but with rapid expansion, the number rose to 89,000 in 1955 and by 1965 there were some 2,500,000 power tillers in Japanese farms. The increase in other types of machinery has also been striking. Table 2 shows the total...

  6. PART III
    • CHAPTER 7 AGRICULTURE AND LABOR SUPPLY IN THE MEIJI ERA
      (pp. 175-197)
      Mataji Umemura

      According to S. Kuznets’ illuminating international comparison of the long-run rates of economic growth of nations (Kuznets, 1956), the most rapidly growing nations in the world have been the United States, Canada, Sweden, and Japan in terms of national product, and Sweden and Japan in terms of per capita national product. Thus, in the past several years, many attempts have been made to investigate the process by which the Japanese economy has been able to sustain such a high rate of growth. Among them, Ohkawa’s study of the changes in the pattern of the Japanese economic growth is most helpful...

    • CHAPTER 8 THE LABOR FORCE IN MEIJI ECONOMIC GROWTH: A QUANTITATIVE STUDY OF YAMANASHI PREFECTURE
      (pp. 198-221)
      Arlon R. Tussing

      Economic development and “modernization” have certain universal consequences for the structure and organization of the labor force. The history of each advanced country shows a shift of population out of agriculture and the replacement of family enterprise and particularistic employment relationships by large enterprises and wage labor. But the pace and completeness of these inevitable changes have varied widely among different countries.

      To take one example, Umemura has pointed out that in each of the classic Western instances of industrialization, the first phase of modern economic growth was accompanied by an absolute increase in the agricultural population and labor force,...

    • CHAPTER 9 THE SUPPLY PRICE OF LABOR: FARM FAMILY WORKERS
      (pp. 222-249)
      Yukio Masui

      The number of farm households and workers in the labor force engaged in fanning remained fairly constant at about 5.5 million and about 14 million, respectively, without being affected much by business cycles from the Meiji era up to World War II (Hemmi, p. 126). The stability in the above two numbers is, however, replaced by declining trends in the postwar period. The number of farm households was 6.18 million in 1950 and 5.67 million in 1965; the number of workers engaged in farming was 16.0 million in 1950 and 10.9 million in 1965. The decrease in the number of...

    • CHAPTER 10 AN ANALYSIS OF PART-TIME FARMING IN THE POSTWAR PERIOD
      (pp. 250-269)
      Takeo Misawa

      In the years immediately following the war, Japanese agriculture underwent great changes brought about as the result of the Land Reform. The Land Reform was regarded as a success; owner-farmer households became the dominant institution and a large number of farmers were freed from the heavy burden of rent payment. But, soon afterwards, it became evident that a fundamental problem of agricultural structure still remained unsolved. While the Land Reform had far-reaching effects in establishing the owner-farmer, it did little to create conditions favorable for the emergence of larger size holdings. Table 1 shows that no remarkable change had occurred...

    • CHAPTER 11 THE SUPPLY OF FARM LABOR AND THE “TURNING POINT” IN THE JAPANESE ECONOMY
      (pp. 270-300)
      Ryōshin Minami

      This paper attempts to discover at what point in her long process of economic development Japan ceased to have available “unlimited supplies of labor.” This point has been labeled in some economic development models the turning point.¹ Its timing is a controversial issue. W. A. Lewis, who originally set forth the concept and theory of the turning point, suggested that Japan would reach it sometime in the 1950’s (Lewis, p. 29). J. C. H. Fei and G. Ranis, developing a more refined version of Lewis’ theory, applied it to the Japanese economy and concluded that the turning point had already...

  7. PART IV
    • CHAPTER 12 PRIMARY PRODUCT EXPORTS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: THE CASE OF SILK
      (pp. 303-323)
      Kenzō Hemmi

      One of the major issues in economic development of developing countries is whether dependence on the export of one or a few primary products tends to promote or retard the economic development of these countries. It has been asserted that, through various multipliers, linkages, and demonstration effects, such primary-product exports act positively. Thus, a number of economists have stressed the importance of primary-product exports, such as wool in the case of Australia, in launching the modern economic development of the countries concerned. Yet, judging from the developmental policies present-day developing countries are pursuing, the predominant attitude in these countries is...

    • CHAPTER 13 DEVELOPMENT OF LONG-TERM AGRICULTURAL CREDIT
      (pp. 324-351)
      Yuzuru Katō

      The credit institutions which took care of long-term agricultural credit in the prewar period were private joint-stock banks. Since World War II, however, government corporations or special accounts of the national budget have become the long-term credit institutions for agriculture. This contrast between the prewar and postwar periods may give us the impression that drastic changes have occurred in the institutions of long-term agricultural credit. In fact, the process of change was not so drastic. This paper will show that (1) the private joint-stock banks in the prewar agricultural credit field were not purely private banks but special semi-government banks...

    • CHAPTER 14 SAVINGS OF FARM HOUSEHOLDS
      (pp. 352-373)
      Tsutomu Noda

      The aim of this paper is to undertake a comparative analysis of the saving behavior of farm and workers’ households in an attempt to explain their behavior functionally. We already have several international comparisons of the saving ratios, which facilitate explanation of the high aggregate saving ratio in Japan. The average gross domestic saving ratio in Japan, as a proportion of total national income, was estimated to be 34 per cent during the years 1956–1963. This was considerably higher than the corresponding figure of 18 per cent for the United States, 17 per cent for United Kingdom and 20...

    • CHAPTER 15 EFFECTS OF THE LAND REFORM ON CONSUMPTION AND INVESTMENT OF FARMERS
      (pp. 374-397)
      Shigeto Kawano

      The present paper will examine the epochal change in postwar Japanese agriculture brought about by the Land Reform as well as its economic implications centering in consumption and investment of farmers. For reasons noted below, the analyses focus on the period 1951–54.

      Theoretically speaking, it is difficult to isolate the effects of the Reform because the condition of “other things being equal” is difficult to maintain for economic and social phenomena. In the case of the Land Reform, major changes had been in progress between the pre- and post-Reform period, such as inflation and the drastic increase in population...

    • CHAPTER 16 LONG-TERM CHANGES IN FOOD CONSUMPTION PATTERNS IN JAPAN
      (pp. 398-431)
      Hiromitsu Kaneda

      There have been many conspicuous changes in Japanese life during the century that has elapsed since the beginning of the modernization process in the late 1860’s. Although less marked than many, the changes in food consumption patterns are of considerable importance.

      It is the purpose of this paper to trace the changes that have taken place in the patterns of food consumption as reflected in the changing relative importance of various food groups, and to investigate the inter-relationship between aggregate food consumption and changes attendant to economic development. As much as available data permit, the present study aims at relating...

  8. Back Matter
    (pp. 432-433)