The Economic Benefit of Railway and Harbor Construction in the Early Japanese Period
|關鍵字:||基礎建設;鐵路;生產力;聚集經濟;Infrastructure;railway;productivity;economies of agglomeration||公開日期:||九月-2008||期刊:||經濟論文叢刊||卷:||36||期:||3||頁數:||293-325||摘要:||日治初期是台灣現代經濟成長的起點。許多學者推測，交通建設是啟動台灣現代經濟成長的重要因素；但其中的機制?何，則尚無實証分析。本文的分析發現，縱貫鐵路通車與基隆高雄兩港整建之後，運輸成本下降，貿易增加，台灣形成一個整合市場。貿易機會提升農民增產的誘因。實証分析顯示，縱貫鐵路通車後，車站地稻作的平均每甲產量上升大於非車站地。此外，車站地之地價上升幅度也大於非車站地，這反映運輸量上升所產生的聚集經濟與外部利益。因此，日治初期的交通建設的確有提升生產力之效果。
Taiwan's modern economic growth started in the early Japanese colonial period. Although it is widely thought that infrastructure construction was important to the growth, there has been no empirical study to test the conjecture. In this paper, we present evidences to show that the construction of the trunk railway line and the Keelung and Kaoshiung harbors in the 1900s lowered transportation cost, increased trade opportunities, and brought about an integrated market in Taiwan. Trade opportunities enhanced farmers' incentive to raise productivity. We find that after the modern communication system began to operate, rice productivity increases near the rail stations were higher than in the non-station areas. We also find that land prices near the rail stations increased much more than in the non-station areas. We argue that this is due to the benefit of the economies of agglomeration and the externalities from the lower transportation cost. The evidence presented in this paper confirms that infrastructure construction was indeed a key factor in the productivity increases in the early Japanese period.
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