View the podcast from John Tang's Crawford Award 2012 lecture on 'Railroad expansion and entrepreneurship: Evidence from Meiji Japan'. This lecture was held at the Crawford School on February 2, 2013.
Railroads in Meiji Japan are credited with facilitating factor mobility as well as access to human and financial capital, but the impact on firm activity is unclear. In this seminar, Dr John Tang will assesse the effect of railroad access on startup activity across Japanese prefectures by using a newly developed firm-level dataset and a difference-in-differences model that exploits the temporal and spatial variation of railroad expansion. Results indicate that railroad expansion corresponded with increased firm activity, particularly in manufacturing, although this effect is mitigated in less populous regions. These findings are consistent with industrial agglomeration in areas with larger markets and earlier development among both new and existing establishments.