Was Japanese Colonialism Good for the Welfare of Taiwanese? Stature and the Standard of Living
The China Quarterly, Vol. 192, pp. 990-1013, 2007
Posted: 14 Jan 2008
Japanese rule transformed Taiwan from 1895 to 1945, laying the foundations for the post-1950 "economic miracle," but there is little consensus about the impact on the welfare of Taiwan's ethnic Chinese. A difficulty with past studies is the adequacy of economic indicators to measure the standard of living. Instead of conventional economic data, we use average adult height, an indicator of nutritional status. The rise in the average height of the Chinese indicates welfare improved under colonialism, but the static average height from 1930 highlights the negative effect of the shift in economic policy during the late colonial period.
Keywords: China, Taiwan, Japan, Colonialism, Standard of Living, Height, Anthropometric History
JEL Classification: N15, N35, O15, O53
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