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This study investigates the effect of community factors on the development and diversification of rural Japan. Diversification is a matter of concern in rural communities as a means of revitalizing regional socio-economies. To establish new diversified activities, cooperation between rural residents is essential. Social capital (SC) is an important community factor that facilitates collective community action. The area analyzed in this study is the Awa area, where various kinds of agro-related activities have emerged, including rural-urban exchanges and agro-tourism. Traditional customs are also preserved in the area. We conducted both community and household-level surveys to collect data and investigate the general characteristics of the study area. Various agribusiness activities have been established in the study area. Diversification of rural economy provides opportunities for a variety of rural residents to participate in agribusiness activities and contribute to the sustainable development of both household and rural economies.Our results indicate that various group activities at the local level support the process of rural diversification. Continuity of group activities has led to the accumulation of structural SC. SC provides the potential for activating community activities such as new agribusiness and has contributed indirectly to diversified rural development in the study area. High levels of the accumulation of cognitive SC are also observed, but we are unable to accurately evaluate the impact of cognitive SC on rural diversification in the study area.

Subject(s): Community/Rural/Urban Development

Institutional and Behavioral Economics

Issue Date: 2006

Publication Type: Conference Paper/ Presentation

PURL Identifier:

Total Pages: 12

JEL Codes: M2; O18; Q13; Q26; R0

Series Statement: Poster Paper

Record appears in: International Association of Agricultural Economists (IAAE) > 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia

Autor: Sakurai, Seiichi ; Yokoyama, Shigeki


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