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Dr Michitaro Oka

Dr Michitaro OkaDr Michitaro Oka was a Visiting Fellow at the LSE Asia Research Centre.

He is Associate Professor of the School of Agriculture, Meiji University, Japan. Dr Oka's areas of research are rural development, poverty reduction and natural resource management in Indian and Japanese villages with a focus on socially embedded economic institutions or Indigenous Institutions. For example, interest free credit or non charged labour in economic transactions between villagers. He is trying to argue not only negative aspects but also positive aspects of indigenous institutions for long term poverty reduction and better management of natural common resources by using terms of relation of trust, social dilemma, collective action, common knowledge, social capital, transaction cost and information asymmetry. He has about 30 months experience of village participant observation research, mainly in Gujarat.

Research Interests

  • Historical and econometrical analysis of indigenous institutions
  • Dynamics of indigenous institutions and village communities under economic growth
  • Young labourer’s shift from rural to urban and the indigenous institutions
  • Sustainable usage of natural common resources (focusing on the socially embedded common knowledge or social norms which might contribute to solve the social dilemma of Game Theory)

Selected Publications

  • Oka, M. (2011). Persistence and Changing of the Rural Indigenous Institutions under the Growing Indian Economy: Econometrical Analysis of 59 villages and Intensive Analysis of 3 villages in Gujarat. Contemporary India, 1
  • Oka, M. (2006). The Low Agricultural Wage Rate in Central Gujarat, India: Focus on the Local Informal Credit Institution as the Factor. Asian Studies, JAAS, 52 (1) in Japanese
  • Oka, M. (2004). Determinants of the Adoption of Crossbred Cows in India: An Analysis of Intra-village Socio-economic Relations in Central Gujarat. Ajia Keizai, IDE-JETRO, 45 (4) in Japanese