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AN INDUSTRIOUS REVOLUTION IN AN EAST ASIAN MARKET ECONOMY? TOKUGAWA JAPAN AND IMPLICATIONS FOR THE GREAT DIVERGENCE

Authors

  • Osamu Saito

    1. Hitotsubashi University
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    • A revised version of the paper delivered as the fifth Noel Butlin Lecture at the Asia-Pacific Economic and Business History Conference, Gakushuin University, Tokyo, 19 February 2009.


Abstract

This paper addresses a question raised by Jan de Vries' on the relationship between industriousness and the rise of the market in East Asia. Was the growing industriousness in Tokugawa Japan, as de Vries suggests, a substitute ‘for the absence of markets’? The examination refers to two versions of Chayanov's peasant farm model and their empirical relevance to the Tokugawa agrarian history, with special reference to the formation of labour-intensive peasant farming (Akira Hayami's version of an industrious revolution), product specialisation, and the markets for production factors, land, and labour. Its implications for the Great Divergence debate are also discussed.

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