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Compare and contrast David Landes’ and Andre Gunder Frank’s explanations of economic development and underdevelopment Essay

Prompt: Compare and contrast David Landes’ and Andre Gunder Frank’s explanations of economic development and underdevelopment. How do these authors explain the development of Japan in the 19th century?

This paper will analyze the arguments on development and underdevelopment from the point of view of David Landes and Andre Gunder Frank. At the very beginning of Frank’s essay, he clarifies three characteristics of countries, developed, underdeveloped and undeveloped. Meaning of developed country is obvious but Frank states that there are misconceptions about the other two terms. Undeveloped basically refers to countries that is not yet start developing or did not manage to develop whereas underdeveloped means not completely developed but still developing.

Some of underdeveloped countries are dealing with the issue of disparities in income and cultural differences among the society. This situation leads to existence of social classes and this is called ‘dual society’. Main reason of this problem is while the capitalists are growing economically, the other part remains isolated thus they are less developed.

According to Frank, Japan grew rapidly after the Meiji Restoration. Industrialization period was very successful in Japan even though they do not have adequate resource. Reason of this growth is Japan is not satellized during the Tokugawa and Meiji period. As a result development of Japan was greater than other satellized countries such as Russia and South American countries. On the other hand David Landes suggested some ideas that caused Japanese development. Landes thinks that society plays an important role on development. They were highly motivated to work for their country and they believed that their country would develop such as European countries. Thus they inspired by their success and carried themselves country to the same level.

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