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Price, Quality, and Organization: Branding in the Japanese silk-reeling industry



    () (Institute of Social Science, The University of Tokyo)


Transaction costs depend on the degree of informational asymmetry in trading goods. This environment provides commitment to certain quality with an opportunity to earn quality premium given the degree of asymmetry. A device of commitment to quality could be inspection and branding either by a trader or manufacturer. In the market of raw silk, the largest export of Japan from the late nineteenth century, informational asymmetry between Japan and the Western destinations was serious and Western trading companies dominated quality control by the mid-1880s. Then, Japanese manufacturers internalized inspection and branding processes, earned quality premium, and began rapid growth.

Suggested Citation

  • NAKABAYASHI, Masaki, 2012. "Price, Quality, and Organization: Branding in the Japanese silk-reeling industry," ISS Discussion Paper Series (series F) f160, Institute of Social Science, The University of Tokyo, revised 07 Jan 2013.
  • Handle: RePEc:itk:issdps:f160

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    File Function: Revised version, Jan. 2013
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
    2. Federico,Giovanni, 2009. "An Economic History of the Silk Industry, 1830–1930," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521105262, December.
    3. Aldrich, Mark & Albelda, Randy, 1980. "Determinants of working women's wages during the progressive era," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 323-341, October.
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    1. Economic History Society Conference
      by andrewdsmith in The Past Speaks on 2013-04-03 18:43:23

    More about this item


    Institutions; asymmetric information of quality; branding; textile industry; Japan.;

    JEL classification:

    • N35 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Asia including Middle East
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production


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