INDUSTRIOUS PEASANTS IN EAST AND WEST: MARKETS, TECHNOLOGY, AND FAMILY STRUCTURE IN JAPANESE AND WESTERN EUROPEAN AGRICULTURE

Authors


Abstract

Jan de Vries engages with Osamu Saito's discussion of Tokugawa Japan, in particular, his exploration of de Vries's concept of an industrious revolution for East Asia, which was published in this journal in 2010. The discussion bears on the ongoing debate over the timing and character of the Great Divergence, when advanced parts of Europe pulled ahead of Asia. de Vries argues that the constraint on the Japanese rural household to acquire and shed labour delayed the shift from supply-side industriousness to demand-motivated industriousness, which in turn meant that the Great Divergence was already in place before 1800.

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