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Financial Intermediation and Late Development: The Case of Meiji Japan, 1868 to 1912


  • John Tang


Was nineteenth century Japan an example of finance-led growth? Using a new panel dataset of startup firms from the Meiji Period (1868-1912), I test whether financial sector development influenced the emergence of modern industries. Results from multiple econometric models suggest that increased financial intermediation, particularly from banks, is associated with greater firm establishment. This corresponds with the theory of late development that industrialization requires intermediaries to mobilize and allocate financing. The effect is pronounced in the second half of the period and for heavy industries, which may be due to improved institutions and larger capital requirements, respectively.

Suggested Citation

  • John Tang, 2008. "Financial Intermediation and Late Development: The Case of Meiji Japan, 1868 to 1912," Working Papers 08-01, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:08-01

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    Cited by:

    1. Kazuki Onji & John P. Tang, 2015. "A nation without a corporate income tax: Evidence from nineteenth century Japan," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 15-12, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
    2. SERGI BASCO & John P. Tang, 2017. "The Samurai Bond: Credit Supply And Economic Growth In Pre-War Japan," CEH Discussion Papers 05, Centre for Economic History, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.

    More about this item


    Financial intermediation; late development; industrialization; Japan;

    JEL classification:

    • N15 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Asia including Middle East
    • N25 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Asia including Middle East
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance

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