Technological leadership and late development: evidence from Meiji Japan, 1868–1912
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 to estimate entry probabilities, it is found 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.
Volume (Year): 64 (2011)
Issue (Month): s1 (February)
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