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Empirical analysis of the national treatment obligation under the WTO: The case of Japanese shochu

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  • Doi, Naoshi
  • Ohashi, Hiroshi

Abstract

The national treatment obligation, along with the most favored nation obligation, is an important principle of non-discrimination adopted by the World Trade Organization. It requires that foreign products be treated no less favorably than national products. This paper empirically examines the 1996 WTO recommendation that a Japanese distilled alcoholic beverage, shochu, be classed as a “directly competitive or substitutable product” with regard to other distilled drinks, and thus that not taxing similarly be in violation of its national treatment obligation. Demand estimates obtained from a random-coefficient discrete-choice model reveal that a substitution pattern of shochu is far more complicated than that presumed by the WTO. Upon the WTO recommendation, Japan made all distilled alcoholic beverages be taxable at the same level. Our simulation analysis indicates that the tax revision, while it reduced the tax revenue, improved Japanese national welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Doi, Naoshi & Ohashi, Hiroshi, 2017. "Empirical analysis of the national treatment obligation under the WTO: The case of Japanese shochu," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 43-52.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jjieco:v:46:y:2017:i:c:p:43-52
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jjie.2017.08.001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jean‐Pierre Dubé & Jeremy T. Fox & Che‐Lin Su, 2012. "Improving the Numerical Performance of Static and Dynamic Aggregate Discrete Choice Random Coefficients Demand Estimation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(5), pages 2231-2267, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Takechi, Kazutaka, 2020. "Do domestic producers benefit from safeguards? The case of a Japanese safeguard on Chinese vegetable imports in 2001," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 55(C).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    National treatment obligation; WTO; Random-coefficient discrete-choice model; SSNIP test;

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • L66 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Food; Beverages; Cosmetics; Tobacco
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation

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