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The Role of the Merchant Coalition in Pre-modern Japanese Economic Development: An Historical Institutional Analysis

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  • Tetsuji Okazaki

    (Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Tetsuji Okazaki, 2004. "The Role of the Merchant Coalition in Pre-modern Japanese Economic Development: An Historical Institutional Analysis," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-284, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  • Handle: RePEc:tky:fseres:2004cf284
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hanley, Susan B., 1983. "A High Standard of Living in Nineteenth-Century Japan: Fact or Fantasy?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(1), pages 183-192, March.
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    3. Ohkura, Takehiko & Shimbo, Hiroshi, 1978. "The Tokugawa monetary policy in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 101-124, January.
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    5. Greif, Avner, 1994. "Cultural Beliefs and the Organization of Society: A Historical and Theoretical Reflection on Collectivist and Individualist Societies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 912-950, October.
    6. Greif, Avner, 1993. "Contract Enforceability and Economic Institutions in Early Trade: the Maghribi Traders' Coalition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 525-548, June.
    7. Masahiko Aoki, 2001. "Toward a Comparative Institutional Analysis," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262011875, September.
    8. Duffy, William J. & Yamamura, Kozo, 1971. "Monetization and integration of markets in Tokugawa Japan: A spectral analysis," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 395-423.
    9. Wakita, Shigeru, 1996. "Rational Expectations in the Rice Futures Market of Osaka, in the 18th Century," Economic Review, Hitotsubashi University, vol. 47(3), pages 238-247, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sahle, Esther, 2014. "Quakers, coercion and pre-modern growth: why friends’ formal institutions for contract enforcement did not matter for early Atlantic trade expansion," Economic History Working Papers 60452, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
    2. Tomihiro Machikita & Tetsuji Okazaki, 2019. "Transition to a Modern Regime and Change in PlantLifecycles: A Natural Experiment from Meiji Japan," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-1122, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
    3. Aidin Hajikhameneh & Jared Rubin, 2019. "Exchange in the Absence of Legal Enforcement: Reputation and Multilateral Punishment under Uncertainty," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(1), pages 192-237.
    4. Yamamura, Eiji, 2008. "The role of social capital in homogeneous society: Review of recent researches in Japan," MPRA Paper 11385, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Ferrali, Romain, 2012. "The Maghribi industrialists: contract enforcement in the Moroccan industry, 1956-82," Economic History Working Papers 45680, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
    6. Tomohiro Machikita & Tetsuji Okazaki, 2019. "Transition to a Modern Regime and Change in Plant Lifecycles: A Natural Experiment from Meiji Japan," CIGS Working Paper Series 19-006E, The Canon Institute for Global Studies.
    7. Bassino, Jean-Pascal & van der Eng, Pierre, 2019. "Japan and the Asian Divergence: Market Integration, Climate Anomalies and Famines during the 18th and 19th Centuries," CEI Working Paper Series 2018-18, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    8. Yamamura Eiji, 2008. "The Market for Lawyers and Social Capital: Are Informal Rules a Substitute for Formal Ones?," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 499-517, December.

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