Technological Leadership and Late Development: Evidence from Meiji Japan, 1868-1912

18 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2011

See all articles by John P. Tang

John P. Tang

ANU Research School of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 4, 2011

Abstract

Large family-owned conglomerates known as zaibatsu have long been credited with leading Japanese industrialization during the Meiji period (1868-1912), despite a lack of empirical analysis. Using a new dataset collected from corporate genealogies to estimate entry probabilities, it is found that characteristics associated with zaibatsu increase a firm's likelihood of being an industry pioneer. In particular, first entry probabilities increase with industry diversification and private ownership, which may provide internal financing and risk-sharing, respectively. Nevertheless, the costs of excessive diversification may deter additional pioneering, which may account for the loss of zaibatsu technological leadership by the turn of the century.

Suggested Citation

Tang, John P., Technological Leadership and Late Development: Evidence from Meiji Japan, 1868-1912 (January 4, 2011). The Economic History Review, Vol. 64, pp. 99-116, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1735241 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0289.2009.00530.x

John P. Tang (Contact Author)

ANU Research School of Economics ( email )

LF Crisp Building 26
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

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