Agricultural Policy: The Role of Agriculture in Early Economic Development: A Study of the Japanese Case

  • Kazushi Ohkawa
Part of the International Economic Association Series book series (IEA)


The role of agriculture in the early economic development of Japan has already been the subject of several authors in the English literature.2 In their broad research all the contributors seem to agree on the main features, such as the role of agriculture in financing investments for industrialization, providing food for increased demand stemming from population growth and rising incomes, and supplying cheap labour to the other sectors of the economy. It appears, at first glance, that little remains to be studied.


Investment Rate Military Expenditure Government Investment Japanese Economy Traditional Sector 
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  1. 2.
    A pioneering work is Bruce F. Johnston, ‘Agricultural Productivity and Economic Development in Japan’, Journal of Political Economy, vol. lix, No. 6, December 1951.Google Scholar
  2. Also William W. Lockwood, The Economic Development of Japan (Princeton : Princeton University Press, 1954), gives us a historical analysis of agriculture within a broad framework.Google Scholar
  3. More recently, G. Ranis treats the financing function of agriculture in his paper ‘The Financing of Japanese Economic Development’, The Economic History Review, Vol. XI, No. 3, April 1959.Google Scholar
  4. K. Ohkawa and H. Rosovsky made an attempt to analyse this problem based on the latest data. See ‘The Role of Agriculture in Modern Japanese Economic Development’, in Economic Development and Cultural Change, Vol. ix, 1960.Google Scholar
  5. 1.
    In particular, Henry Rosovsky, ‘Japanese Capital Formation : The Role of the Public Sector’, The Journal of Economic History, Vol. XXI, No. 3, September, 1959.Google Scholar
  6. All the data were taken from K. Ohkawa and others, The Growth Rate of the Japanese Economy since 1878 (Tokyo : Kinokuniya, 1957).Google Scholar
  7. 2.
    For the quinquennia after 1918–22 see K. Ohkawa ‘The Pattern of Japanese Long Term Economic Growth’ presented to the International Conference of Income and Wealth, Hong Kong, August 1960.Google Scholar
  8. The data of tax shares were cited from Table 8 : 8 in page 379 in Seiji Tsunematsu, ‘Nogyo to Zaisei no Sayo’ (Agriculture and the Function of Public Finance), chap. viii of S. Tobata and K. Ohkawa, Nihon no keizai to nogyo (The Japanese Economy and Agriculture) vol. i (Tokyo : Iwanami Shoten, 1956).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© International Economic Association 1964

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kazushi Ohkawa
    • 1
  1. 1.Hitotsubashi UniversityJapan

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