Faculty Profile

Associate Professor

Research Topics

1.Understanding the process of state development and its relation to economic development
2.Understanding how information affects individual's preference, belief, and behavior

Research Introduction and Message

Why some countries are poor and others rich? There are two approaches to tackle the question.

The first approach analyses current developing countries, which is the main focus of studies in development economics. In contrast, we can also learn from historical experiences of current rich countries to tackle the same question. Since this second approach is relatively new and has no official name, I will call it historical economics, which is distinguished from economic history.

Although both approaches share the same goal, my research mainly relies on the second one. For instance, I have examined the impact of land ownership reform on voting behavior and economic development, as well as the effect of geography on state fragmentation, by using the historical data of Japan and Europe, respectively.

The late agricultural economist Seiichi Tōbata (1899-1983) wrote:

"For the students of social science, it is more difficult to study a foreign country, which has different social customs and economic operation, than to analyze their home country of their age. Making a sweeping generalization of a foreign country is the enemy of science. The study of the country must be incomplete unless it is supplemented by the analysis of the background and foundation of its social and economic logic, and the institutional structure and psychology."

The main goal of my research is to find a way to analyze scientifically such complex aspects of various countries and societies using a common language.

Economics is a useful tool to understand how society works. Let's study together the mechanisms that economic researchers have discovered, and tackle unsolved questions.

KITAMURA Shuhei's Personal Website


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