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Property Rights And Financial Development: The Legacy Of Japanese Colonial Institutions

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Executive Summary

Several studies link modern economic performance to institutions transplanted by European colonizers and here the authors 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. Within Micronesia robust economic development followed only in Palau where individual property rights were well defined. Second, they 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.

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