Understanding the Economic History of Postal Services: Some Preliminary Observations from the Case of Meiji Japan
This object of this paper is to raise some methodological issues relating to the economic history of postal services, an area relatively neglected by Western economic historians, and to use Japan in the second half of the 19th century as a case study for exploring some of these issues. The first half of the paper surveys the previous historical literature on 19th century postal systems, and then considers several key analytical issues, in particular the fact that postal systems were government monopolies, the nature of postal systems as technologies, and the significance of the improved information flow that these systems offered to an industrializing economy. The second half of the paper looks at the economic significance of the Meiji governments's postal regulatory framework, the use that was made of these provisions, and how this use changed over time. The analysis focuses in particular on the issue of demand for and supply of postal services, and suggests that in most cases the increasing use made of the service was supply-led. The conclusion puts Japan's postal usage in this period in comparative perspective, and suggests possibilities for future research.
|Date of creation:||May 2005|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Hongo 7-3-1, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033|
Web page: http://www.cirje.e.u-tokyo.ac.jp/index.html
More information through EDIRC
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tky:fseres:2005cf344. 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: (CIRJE administrative office)
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.