Toshiki Kawashima

PhD Candidate

Modern East Asian economic history; History of economic ideas in modern East Asia; History of language reform; Global economic history

Toshiki Kawashima is a PhD candidate in History, working on the economic history of modern East Asia, especially interwar Japan. While methodologically based on the history of economic ideas, his dissertation analyzes a topic unconventional in the field: it explains the emergence of economic ideas in the unlikely context of language reform movements. Specifically, it demonstrates how a proto-economic model was used to help Japanese businesspeople—who were also script (writing system/alphabet) reformers—analyze the dynamics of script users and market a new script. His analysis shows that their model anticipated concepts popular in modern economic theory of standardization.

Committee Members

Marc Flandreau (advisor), Frederick Dickinson, Sophia Rosenfeld

Research Interests
  • Modern East Asian economic history
  • History of economic ideas in modern East Asia
  • History of language reform
  • Global economic history
Courses Taught