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A Tale of Pork Prices: Evasion and Attenuation of a Japanese Tariff

  • Kazuki Onji
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    This paper empirically examines the effectiveness of a safeguard tariff in the Japanese market for imported pork parts. The goals are, first, to consider a refinement to the traditional market-based method for evasion detection, and, second, to apply the method in a setting where evasion is suspected to be widespread. Utilising a within-pig variation in tariff burdens and the timing of safeguard invocations, I examine a panel of monthly wholesale prices on narrowly-defined pork productions from 2001 through 2008. The results are consistent with a hypothesis that a widespread evasion nullified the safeguard tariff on pork, and are robust to a range of alternative explanations including the adjustment of profit margins by traders. Safeguard tariffs appear to be a simple mechanism, but behavioural responses can undo the policy intent.

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    File URL: https://crawford.anu.edu.au/pdf/pep/apep-382.pdf
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    Paper provided by Australia-Japan Research Centre, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University in its series Asia Pacific Economic Papers with number 382.

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    Length: 31 pages
    Date of creation: 2009
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:csg:ajrcau:382
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Canberra ACT 2601
    Phone: (61-2) 6249 3780
    Fax: (61-2) 6249 3941
    Web page: https://crawford.anu.edu.au/research_units/ajrc/
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    1. Besley, Timothy J. & Rosen, Harvey S., 1999. "Sales Taxes and Prices: An Empirical Analysis," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 157-78, June.
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    7. Justin Marion & Erich Muehlegger, 2008. "Measuring Illegal Activity and the Effects of Regulatory Innovation: Tax Evasion and the Dyeing of Untaxed Diesel," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(4), pages 633-666, 08.
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    10. Raj Chetty & Adam Looney & Kory Kroft, 2009. "Salience and taxation: theory and evidence," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2009-11, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    11. David Hummels & Volodymyr Lugovskyy, 2006. "Are Matched Partner Trade Statistics a Usable Measure of Transportation Costs?," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(1), pages 69-86, 02.
    12. Pitt, Mark M., 1981. "Smuggling and price disparity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 447-458, November.
    13. Dean Yang, 2004. "Can Enforcement Backfire? Crime Displacement in the Context of Customs Reform in the Philippines," Working Papers 520, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
    14. Mary E. Lovely, 1994. "Crossing the Border: Does Commodity Tax Evasion Reduce Welfare and Can Enforcement Improve It?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 27(1), pages 157-74, February.
    15. Miljkovic, Dragan & Zhuang, Renan, 2007. "The Exchange Rate Pass-through into Import Prices: The Case of Japanese Meat Imports," 2007 Annual Meeting, July 29-August 1, 2007, Portland, Oregon TN 9967, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
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