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Japan and the United States relied on different technological paths to expand their agricultural output. Research summarized by Hayami and others (1975) and Binswanger and Ruttan (1978) has established that Japan has long emphasized biological, yield-raising technology, much of it supported by heavy investment in irrigation. This emphasis continued with systematic investment in agricultural research initiated after 1868.
Total farmland more than doubled between 1870 and 1920. Since average farm size stayed roughly constant, total farm employment must have nearly doubled as well. The agricultural work force, far from being displaced, was redeployed within agriculture, along with large numbers of immigrants. Mechanization did not produce higher yields, however; they came later and were linked to fertilizers and biological innovations.

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Japan and the United States relied on different technological paths to expand their agricultural output. Research summarized by Hayami and others (1975) and Binswanger and Ruttan (1978) has established that Japan has long emphasized biological, yield-raising technology, much of it supported by heavy investment in irrigation. This emphasis continued with systematic investment in agricultural research initiated after 1868.
Total farmland more than doubled between 1870 and 1920. Since average farm size stayed roughly constant, total farm employment must have nearly doubled as well. The agricultural work force, far from being displaced, was redeployed within agriculture, along with large numbers of immigrants. Mechanization did not produce higher yields, however; they came later and were linked to fertilizers and biological innovations.

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