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Do Radioactive Spills from the Fukushima Disaster Have Any Influence on the Japanese Seafood Market?

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  • Hiroki Wakamatsu
  • Tsutomu Miyata

Abstract

We investigated whether the 2011 spill of radioactive materials from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean had a negative impact on the demand for cod and pollock in the wholesale markets of Japan. A structural break test detected several breaks, including the Fukushima disaster, and successfully eliminated the impact of the other shocks identified in our analysis. A system of demand equation models, which take into account the structural breaks, indicated that the spills had a significantly negative impact on the demand for cod. Our results suggest that the amount of radiation detected in cod products negatively affected Japanese demand for cod and positively affected demand for pollock, but did not affect their prices. In addition, we found that consumers' current concerns about radioactive spills positively affect cod and pollock markets. We concluded that radioactive spills harm the markets, but the impact is negligible.

Suggested Citation

  • Hiroki Wakamatsu & Tsutomu Miyata, 2016. "Do Radioactive Spills from the Fukushima Disaster Have Any Influence on the Japanese Seafood Market?," Marine Resource Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 27-45.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:mresec:doi:10.1086/683686
    DOI: 10.1086/683686
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