Technological Leadership and Late Development: Evidence from Meiji Japan, 1868-1912
AbstractLarge 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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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 07-32r.
Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2007
Date of revision: May 2010
Meiji Period; zaibatsu; industrialization; late development; technology adoption;
Other versions of this item:
- John P. Tang, 2011. "Technological leadership and late development: evidence from Meiji Japan, 1868–1912," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 64(s1), pages 99-116, February.
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- 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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