Chapter

Demographic Responses to Short-Term Economic Stress in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Rural Japan: Evidence from Two Northeastern Villages

Noriko O. Tsuya and Satomi Kurosu

in Living Standards in the Past

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780199280681
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602467 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199280681.003.0018
 Demographic Responses to Short-Term Economic Stress in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Rural Japan: Evidence from Two Northeastern Villages

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Examines the patterns and trends of demographic responses to changes in living standards in two farming villages in north-eastern Japan from 1716 to 1870. Using the local population registers (ninbetsu-aratame-cho), we analyse the impacts of short-term economic stress measured by annual variations of rice prices on mortality, fertility, first marriage, and migration. The result shows that first marriage and out-migration are most responsive to short-term economic stress. Household resources and wealth also influence these individual demographic behaviours but the effects differ by sex, life stage, and type/reason of behaviour. Findings on temporal trends suggest improvements of female socio-demographic status during the late nineteenth century.

Keywords: economic stress; event history analysis; fertility; Household; marriage; migration; mortality; population register; pre-industrial Japan; rice price

Chapter.  12875 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic History

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