The Role of the Merchant Coalition in Pre-modern Japanese Economic Development: An Historical Institutional Analysis
This paper examines the economic role of the merchant coalition (kabu nakama) in Japan during the the eighteenth and the first half of the nineteenth century in Japan. During this period public sector enforcement of contracts was imperfect. Kabu nakama substituted for the public sector, using a multilateral punishment strategy. When the government (Bakufu) prohibited kabu nakama in 1841, the growth rate of the real money supply contracted, efficiency of price arbitrage declined, and the inflation rate increased.
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