小作料減免慣行と取引費用 [in Japanese] Tenancy Rent Reduction and Transaction Costs [in Japanese]
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This paper focuses on tenancy contracts in pre-war Japan and examines why a fixed-rent contract was prevalent and that it was associated by the custom of rent reduction. Based on the contract theory, it is argued that a fixed-rent contract associated with rent reduction (rent-reduction contract) is efficient in terms of provision of incentives and risk-sharing but requires high transaction costs regarding the rent reduction. Therefore, adoption and prevalence of a rent-reduction contract to a share tenancy was dependent on how these transaction costs were suppressed. This paper captures the village's intervention to private landlord-tenancy relationships as the specific characteristics of Japanese tenancy and intends to analyze its logic as well as its changes over time from pre-modern to pre-war period. It is discussed that the villages had intervened into private landlord-tenancy relationships under the order of Murauke system in pre-modern period, while "paternalistic" relations and intervention by the village continued until 1920s, which suppressed the rise of transaction costs on rent reduction and enabled the adoption of rent-reduction contract. However, continuity of the adoption and prevalence of rent reduction contract was challenged by the rise of transaction costs due to breakdown of "paternalistic" relations and community ties after the Great Depression, which was partially approved by the rage of tenancy disputes. This crisis, however, was ceased by institutionalization of the process of rent reduction and formation of collective tenancy relationships.
- The Journal of Agricultural History
The Journal of Agricultural History 39(0), 60-68, 2005
The Agricultural History Society of Japan