- 農業史研究 (ISSN:13475614)
- vol.40, pp.89-96, 2006 (Released:2017-03-23)
One of the important roles of a village in a developing economy is to discipline the behavior of economic agents and to provide governance for economic trade. Comparing with the developing countries today, villages in developing Japan had been successful in governing economic transactions and the village itselves. The autonomous village theory indicates the characteristics of the Japanese villages and suggests some points to consider the difference between Asian and Japanese villages from a historical perspective. This note interprets the autonomous village with the framework of microeconomics and reviews the theory from the perspectives of development economics. From the microeconomics point of view, autonomous village can be understood as an organization that provides institutions of economic governance under social connectedness. I then try to complement the theory by reconsidering the historical significance of the autonomous village with respect to the induction of informal institutions through the Murauke system in Tokugawa period, and the transition of community governance regimes. I argue that the Murauke system was an important starting point for the formation and development of the autonomous village since it demands the village to preserve its agricultural production and to accommodate tax payments, which in turn, induces institutions that support these demands.