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Property rights and financial development : The legacy of Japanese colonial institutions

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  • Property rights and financial development
  • Yoo, Dongwoo; Steckel, Richard H.
  • National Bureau of Economic Research


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Title Property rights and financial development
Similar Titles
Sub Title

The legacy of Japanese colonial institutions

Material Type Reports
Author(English)

Yoo, Dongwoo; Steckel, Richard H.

Publisher

Cambridge:National Bureau of Economic Research

Date 2010-11
Series Title; No NBER Working Paper Series / 16551
Pages 53
Subject Country Japan(Asia and Pacific)
South Korea(Asia and Pacific)
Language English
File Type Link
Original Format pdf
Subject Economy < Financial Policy
Holding National Bureau of Economic Research

Abstract

Several studies link modern economic performance to institutions transplanted by European colonizers and here we extend this line of research to Asia. Japan imposed its system of well-defined property rights in land on some of its Asian colonies, including Korea, Taiwan and Palau. In 1939 Japan began to survey and register private land in its island colonies, an effort that was completed in Palau but interrupted elsewhere by World War II. Within Micronesia robust economic development followed only in Palau where individual property rights were well defined. Second, we show that well-defined property rights in Korea and Taiwan secured land taxation and enabled farmers to obtain bank loans for capital improvements, principally irrigation systems. Our analytical model predicts that high costs of creating an ownership updating system and a citizen identity system discourage a short-sighted government from implementing these crucial components, the absence of which gradually makes land registration obsolete. (The rest omitted)