Journal article

Upstart industrialization and exports: Evidence from Japan, 1880-1910

CM Meissner, JP Tang

The Journal of Economic History | Cambridge University Press (CUP) | Published : 2018


Between 1880 and 1910, Japanese exports increased in volume, changed composition, and shifted from leading industrialized countries toward poorer Asian neighbors. Using a new dataset disaggregated by product and trade partner for the universe of Japanese exports, we find extensive margins accounted for 30 percent of export growth, with trade costs and market size associated with successful market entry. There was also considerable persistence in maintaining market presence and exit was rare. These stylized facts provide insight into both the country's economic development, as reflected in its exported products, as well as the demand conditions of its trade partners.

University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

We have received valuable comments from three anonymous referees, William Collins, Dennis Novy, David Weinstein, and seminar and conference participants at UC Berkeley, UC Davis, Hitotsubashi University, University of Barcelona, University of Valencia, University of Zaragoza, the Australasian Cliometrics Workshop, and the Asian Economic History Conference. We are grateful to Adam Huttner-Koros and Dek Joe Sum for research assistance. This research is supported by the Australian Research Council (DE120101426) and a small grant from the UC Davis Faculty Senate.