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Silk, Regional Rivalry, and the Impact of the Port Openings in Nineteenth Century Japan

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  • Toshihiro Atsumi
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    Abstract

    The centre of economic activities in Japan was once in western Japan. Since the mid-nineteenth century, however, economic activities within Japan have been continuously shifting towards the east side of the country including Tokyo. Conventional wisdom associates the end of the Tokugawa feudal regime with this eastward shift. By applying a new economic geography model to the silk economy of Japan in the nineteenth century, this paper explains why the majority of industrial activities located initially in western Japan, and offers an alternative economic explanation for the eastward shift as an impact of the port openings in 1859.

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    File URL: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/gep/documents/papers/2009/09-15.pdf
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    Paper provided by University of Nottingham, GEP in its series Discussion Papers with number 09/15.

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    Handle: RePEc:not:notgep:09/15

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    Postal: School of Economics University of Nottingham University Park Nottingham NG7 2RD
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    Keywords: International trade; economic geography; Japan; silk trade;

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    12. repec:fth:iniesr:430 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Daniel M. Bernhofen & John C. Brown, 2004. "A Direct Test of the Theory of Comparative Advantage: The Case of Japan," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(1), pages 48-67, February.
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