MetaTOC stay on top of your field, easily

A tale of two SICs: Japanese and American industrialisation in historical perspective

Australian Economic History Review

Published online on


Late‐developing countries often adopt best practice technologies pioneered abroad, facilitating convergence toward leading economies. Meiji Japan (1868–1912) is one successful example of industrial convergence, but much of the evidence relies on national aggregates or selected industries. Using historical industry data, this paper examines whether Japan adopted new technologies faster compared to the United States. Contrary to conventional wisdom, new sectors did not appear relatively sooner in Japan, however, they did grow to economic significance faster.