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"Economic History of the Holding Company: Zaibatsu and Corporate Governance"(in Japanese)


  • Tetsuji Okazaki

    (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo)


The aim of this paper is to make clear the role of zaibatsu in the prewar Japanese economy. Especially, we focus on the organization and function of the holding companies of zaibatsu. By early twenties century, several family businesses had accumulated large amount of capital, and invested it to multiple industries. In order to resolve the bound of control capacity, they reformed the organizational structure to set up the holding companies as the headquarters. The holding companies developed the devices to monitor and discipline the affiliated companies, which enabled zaibatsu to function as an internal capital market. The role of the holding companies was reflected in the fact that the zaibatsu affiliated companies outperformed the other companies in the same industry. Also, zaibatsu played the role of monitoring non-zaibatsu companies through take over in the capital market.

Suggested Citation

  • Tetsuji Okazaki, 1999. ""Economic History of the Holding Company: Zaibatsu and Corporate Governance"(in Japanese)," CIRJE J-Series CIRJE-J-9, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  • Handle: RePEc:tky:jseres:99cj09

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    Cited by:

    1. Morck, Randall & Nakamura, Masao, 2004. "Been There, Done That: The History of Corporate Ownership in Japan," CEI Working Paper Series 2004-4, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.

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