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What caused the failure of nationalisation of the railway system in Germany? : Malfunction of the German Imperial Railway Office (Reichseisenbahnamt) in the 1870s and 1880s

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  • Ayumu Banzawa

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    (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University)

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    Abstract

    This paper identifies the causes of failure of the nationalisation of the German railway system by the Imperial Railway Office (das Reichseisenbahnamt; REA) that was established during 1873-1874 under the order of Otto v. Bismarck, the first Imperial Chancellor (Reichskanzler). The REA was not able to keep railways in the Reich (unified Germany) under its perfect control as provided by the German Imperial Constitution. What impeded the REAfs mission? We must pay attention to the REAfs problems as an organisation. As the official documents of the REA suggested, the organisation was not free from bureaucratic inflexibility in both structural and personal matters. Furthermore, compared with the other railway administration bodies in Germany in the 19th century, I point out the REAfs incapability in collecting regional information. The REA, the central bureau in the German-Prussian capital, had no regional unit. Its top-heavy structure and the higher-ups in the bureaucracy did not collect the non-lettering information from those who were doing the actual work at each railway, and this caused a criticized edisproportionate emphasis on documentsf. To illustrate this point, I focus on the failure by the REA in playing the leading role in compiling the first German national railway statistics.

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    File URL: http://www2.econ.osaka-u.ac.jp/library/global/dp/1218.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP) in its series Discussion Papers in Economics and Business with number 12-18.

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    Length: 26 pages
    Date of creation: Oct 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:osk:wpaper:1218

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    Web page: http://www.econ.osaka-u.ac.jp/
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    Keywords: Railways; Germany; Nationalisation; 19th century;

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    1. Bogart, Dan, 2009. "Nationalizations and the Development of Transport Systems: Cross-Country Evidence from Railroad Networks, 1860–1912," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 69(01), pages 202-237, March.
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