IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

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

Listed author(s):
  • Ayumu Banzawa


    (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University)

Registered author(s):

    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 REA fs mission? We must pay attention to the REA fs 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 REA fs 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 documents f. 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.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    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.

    in new window

    Length: 26 pages
    Date of creation: Oct 2012
    Handle: RePEc:osk:wpaper:1218
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    in new window

    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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:osk:wpaper:1218. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Atsuko SUZUKI)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.