Research School for Economic and Social History


New publication on East Asian industrialisation by Prof. Peer Vries

In August 2022, publishing house Brill has published a new book by Professsor Peer Vries, entitled An East Asian Route of Industrialization? The Case of Japan, 1868-1937. With this book Peer Vries is the first scholar to provide an extensive test of the claim that industrialization in East Asia, in particular in Japan between the Meiji Restoration and World War Two, would have been much more labor intensive than industrialization in the West. He does this by systematically comparing the role and importance of labour and capital in Japan and in a number of Western countries at a similar stage of their industrial development. He uses macro-economic data as well as specific observations by people at the time. It turns out that there is no reason to distinguish a specific labor-intensive Japanese route of industrialization. His comparative analysis provides us with a better understanding of the logic of industrialization in both West and East.

About the author

Prof. dr. Peer Vries has studied Economic and Social History at leiden University. Currently, he isHonorary Research Fellow at the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam. He is member of the Academia Europaea co-founder of the Journal of Global History as well as of the Global Economic History Network.

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