Karine van der Beek op de Industriële Revolutie

January 2, 2013

Nakamura J.I. (1981) Human capital in rural Tokugawa Japan

October 21, 2007

Nakamura J. I. (1981) “Human Capital Accumulation in Premodern Rural Japan”, The Journal of Economic History, 41/2, 263-281.


Human capital has not always been recognized as a crucial source of historical change. Capital accumulation and technology have often been seen as more important. The development of post-WWII Japan has reminded to all that physical factors were not the only source of growth. A rather similar story happened under Meiji. The impressive and unexpected economic development of the post-1868 period was rooted in the accumulation of human resources under the Tokugawas (264). The market economy introduced by Meiji was to be the base of Japan’s economic strength, but it could not have developed so fast without the structural and cultural foundations set up under the Tokugawa and earlier. “Human capital may be broadly identified as labour skills, managerial skills, and entrepreneurial and innovative abilities – plus such physical attributes as health and strength”. Read the rest of this entry »