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Conditions of Successful Land Reform: A Study of Micronesia


Australian Economic History Review

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During the twentieth century Japan and the United States attempted land reform in Micronesia. Japan was more successful because a growing population had led to an increasing demand for agricultural products, which could only be met by expanding agriculture across its empire. This required investment in land reform to transfer ownership from common to private rights. Conversely, the Americans faced no such domestic pressures, valuing Micronesia only for its strategic location and military testing. We formulate a model to examine the outcomes of Micronesian land reform under the long‐sighted policy of the Japanese compared with short‐sighted approach of the Americans.