Using a newly-constructed panel data set which includes annual estimates of lending rates for 47 Japanese prefectures, we analyze why interest rates converged over the period 1884-1925. We find evidence that technological innovations and institutional changes played an important role in creating a national capital market in Japan. In particular, the diffusion in the use of the telegraph, the growth in commercial branch banking networks, and the development of Bank of Japan's branches reduced interest-rate differentials. Bank regulation appears to have played little role in impeding financial market integration.
Keywords: Financial Market Development; Capital Market Integration; Economic Integration; Japanese Banks
Views expressed in the paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Bank of Japan or Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies.