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The National Income of the Netherlands Indies, 1921–1939

  • J. J. Polak
Chapter

Abstract

Traditionally, the Netherlands East Indies are known as one of the world’s richest regions. This description seems fitting for a country which supplies a large proportion of the needs of mankind of critical materials, such as rubber, tin and cinchona, and of consumers’ luxuries, such as coffee, tobacco and tea; which, on the island of Java, supports over 900 inhabitants to the square mile — more than any other major region of the world; and which, in years past, yielded handsome dividends on the capital of Dutch and other foreign investors. These and other indicators of the great productive capacity of the Netherlands East Indies are too well known to need elaboration. What is lacking, however, is a combination of these symptoms into an integrated picture — a picture in which the various productive elements are treated one by one in a common measure to render them comparable as between one another, to enable an addition to a national total, and thus to lay the foundation for a comparison of this national to al with that of other countries. This task of integration can, it would appear, be performed only by expressing in terms of money the net value of production — weather actually sold for money or consumed by the producer — in the various industries, or the income earned by various sections of the population, in an endeavor to arrive at the total national income of the country.

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Copyright information

© Royal Tropical Institute, Amsterdam 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. J. Polak

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