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The optimal selling strategy of a local merchant: the trades of cotton textiles with privileged guilds and unprivileged groups in the Tokugawa era (in Japanese)

Listed author(s):
  • Asuka Tanahashi


    (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University)

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    Through the Tokugawa era, the productivity in the agriculture steadily increased in the Kinai region, neighboring area of Osaka. However, according to the literature in the 1950s, the development of cottage industry in the region came to be stagnated in the late of Tokugawa era, because the merchant guilds in Osaka privileged by the Tokugawa Shogunate exercised the great bargaining power in trades with local merchants, exploited all the surplus from the trades so that local merchants and craftsmen/women were not allowed to hold surplus. Based on Marxian economics, many economic historians interested in the industrialization worked on the research related to this issue, and reached at the result stated above. Since the 1980s, deviated from Marxian views, fewer economic historians have worked on the development of cottage industry in the late Tokugawa era, and the trades between the privileged guilds and local merchants has been almost neglected as a research issue. However, still important points are how the surplus from trades were shared, which part took the lager portion, and how the local merchants responded to the actions of the city merchants, especially to understand the proto-industrialization, and industrialization. Thus this study is back to the topic discussed in the 1950s. This paper studies the cotton textile trades in the Kinai region. The case this paper inquires is trades between a local merchant in the State of Kawachi, and both of privileged guilds and unprivileged groups of large merchants in Osaka. the commercial center. The point was that the player who took higher risk generally took larger share of surplus. From the study on this case, local merchants seemed to make a kind of portfolio of trades: the ghigh risk and high return h trades with unprivileged groups of city merchants, and the glow risk and low return h trades with privileged guilds. Their businesses were balanced between the risk and the returns.

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    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 06-15.

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    Length: 28 pages
    Date of creation: Jun 2006
    Handle: RePEc:osk:wpaper:0615
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