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Railroad expansion and entrepreneurship: evidence from Meiji Japan

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  • John Tang

Abstract

Railroads in Meiji Japan are credited with facilitating factor mobility as well as access to human and financial capital, but the impact on firms is unclear. Using a newly developed firm-level dataset and a difference-in-differences model that exploits the temporal and spatial variation of railroad expansion, I assess the relationship between railways and firm activity across Japan. Results indicate that railroad expansion corresponded with increased firm activity, particularly in manufacturing, although this effect is mitigated in less populous regions. These findings are consistent with industrial agglomeration in areas with larger markets and earlier development among both new and existing establishments.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Economic History, Research School of Economics, Australian National University in its series CEH Discussion Papers with number 011.

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Date of creation: Jan 2013
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Handle: RePEc:auu:hpaper:011

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Keywords: agglomeration; entrepreneurship; firm genealogy; late development;

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  1. John Tang, 2007. "Technological Leadership and Late Development: Evidence from Meiji Japan, 1868-1912," Working Papers, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau 07-32r, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau, revised May 2010.
  2. Dave Donaldson, 2010. "Railroads of the Raj: Estimating the Impact of Transportation Infrastructure," NBER Working Papers 16487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Tim Leunig, 2010. "Social savings," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library 30135, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. David Card & Alan B. Krueger, 1993. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania," NBER Working Papers 4509, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Nicholas Crafts & Abay Mulatu, 2004. "How did the location of industry respond to falling transport costs in Britain before World War 1?," Economic History Working Papers, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History 22555, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
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