THE PAKISTAN DEVELOPMENT REVIEW
The Role of Land Reform in Economic Development: A Case Study of Taiwan by Anthony Y. C. Koo. Frederick A. Praeger, New York, 1968.
Land reform is a standard policy proposal for countries with stagnant agricultural sectors. Knowledge of the ways and the extent to which land reform affects economic development is limited. Conditions which guarantee some success in the effective implementation of the reforms are also not known. Koo’s case study of Taiwanese land reforms is an important step in narrowing the area of ignorance in both directions. Taiwanese land reforms, initiated in 1949 and completed in 1953, were affected after fifty years of active government involvement in providing for substantial overhead investments in the agricultural sector. The colonial government invested massively in land survey, transportation system, irrigation, flood control and agricultural extension. The ready availability of a reliable cadastral system was a help in the quick and effective implementation of the reforms. The adequacy of the economic infrastructure in the agricultural sector and the extension services made tenants and new owners of land willing and able to benefit from the proper incentives provided by the land reforms.