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Hand looms, power looms, and changing production organizations: the case of the Kiryu weaving district in the early 20th century Japan

Tomoko Hashino () and Keijiro Otsuka

Economic History Working Papers from London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History

Abstract: This study finds that the development process of the Kiryu silk weaving district in Japan from 1895 to 1930 can be divided at least into the two phases, i.e., Smithian growth based on the inter-firm division of labor using hand looms and Schumpeterian development based on factory system using power looms. Weaving manufacturers-cum-contractors led Smithian growth by organizing sub-contracts with out-weavers in rural villages and grew faster than factory production systems. Newly emerged joint stock firms played a role of genuine entrepreneurs by realizing significant scale economies. During this new phase, weaving manufacturers-cum-contractors survived and also introduced new production system.

Keywords: industrial district; production organizations; weaving industry; 20th century Japan; economic development (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: N95 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 40 pages
Date: 2012-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his and nep-hme
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