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Technological Leadership and Late Development: Evidence from Meiji Japan, 1868-1912

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  • John Tang

Abstract

Large family-owned conglomerates known as zaibatsu have long been credited with leading Japanese industrialization during the Meiji Period (1868-1912), despite a lack of empirical analysis. Using a new dataset collected from corporate genealogies estimate of entry probabilities, I find that characteristics associated with zaibatsu increase a firm's likelihood of being an industry pioneer. In particular, first entry probabilities increase with industry diversification and private ownership, which may provide internal financing and risk-sharing, respectively. Nevertheless, the costs of excessive diversification may deter additional pioneering, which may account for the loss of zaibatsu technological leadership by the turn of the century.

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File URL: ftp://ftp2.census.gov/ces/wp/2007/CES-WP-07-32R.pdf
File Function: Revised version, 2010
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File URL: ftp://ftp2.census.gov/ces/wp/2007/CES-WP-07-32.pdf
File Function: First version, 2007
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 07-32r.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2007
Date of revision: May 2010
Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:07-32r

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Related research

Keywords: Meiji Period; zaibatsu; industrialization; late development; technology adoption;

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Cited by:
  1. John Tang, 2013. "Railroad expansion and entrepreneurship: Evidence from Meiji Japan," AJRC Working Papers 1302, Australia-Japan Research Centre, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.

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