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The role of pawnshops in risk coping in early twentieth-century Japan

Tatsuki Inoue

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Abstract: This study examines the role of pawnshops as a risk-coping device in prewar Japan. Using data on pawnshop loans for more than 250 municipalities and exploiting the 1918-1920 influenza pandemic as a natural experiment, we find that the adverse health shock increased the total amount of loans from pawnshops. This is because those who regularly relied on pawnshops borrowed more money from them than usual to cope with the adverse health shock, and not because the number of people who used pawnshops increased.

New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-bec, nep-his and nep-ias
Date: 2019-05, Revised 2019-08
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Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1905.04419