Asset Accumulation Behavior of Rural Households in the Reconstruction Period following the Showa Depression:
A Panel Data Analysis Using the Third Period MAF Survey of Farm Household Economy

Motoi Kusadokoro
Takeshi Maru
Masanori Takashima

March 2012


This paper analyzes asset accumulation behavior of rural households using panel data extracted from the survey of farm household economy from 1931 to 1941 conducted by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. The years we are concerned fall under the reconstruction period following the Showa Depression. During this period, farm households were confronted with the problem how they should allocate their farm surplus to each asset. The result shows that the operational land holding size was converging to the size around 2 Cho (approximately 19,835m2), as the previous literature indicated. Households mainly adjusted their operational farm size in response to changes in the household structure; however the land ownership structure did not affect the operational size. Households placed a greater emphasis on the accumulation of relatively high-liquid assets such as cash, quasi-money, animals, and in-kind stocks. In other words, they did not actively invest in fixed assets. Their choice indicates the existence of precautionary saving motive.

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