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Population Growth In Pre-Industrial Japan

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Chapter Summary

Population growth and economic development have been related to each other in almost all known societies, but scholars have been unable to explain which came first: it is a typical chicken-and-egg problem. Moreover, since population growth within a closed geographic area may take place either through increased fertility or decreased mortality, the relationship between population and the economy is a complex one. China, for example, which was once proud of its huge population and its high growth rate, has made a complete turn-about in policy and is now conducting a one child per family campaign. This is a great paradox: in the past, population growth preceded economic development, but today it obstructs such development. What is the truth in the relationship between population and economic growth in the Northeast Asian countries? In this chapter author limits his comments to Tokugawa Japan (1603-1868) and Ch'ing China (1644-1912).

Keywords: Ch'ing China; economic development; population growth; Tokugawa Japan



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