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Public Policy, Private Preferences, and the Japanese Trade Pattern

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  • Marcus Noland

    () (Peterson Institute for International Economics)

Abstract

As non-tariff forms of trade protection proliferate it has become more difficult to analyze the impact of trade policy on trade flows. In a number of well-known papers researchers have attempted to infer the impact of trade policy indirectly by ascribing to trade policy the differences between actual and predicted trade flows. Much of the work has been applied to analysis of Japanese trade policy, and the conclusions of these studies have differed widely. Some previous research has also ascribed a role to the keiretsu, or networks of affiliated firms, in explaining Japan's apparently distinctive trade performance. This paper presents a model which integrates data on factor endowments, observable protection in traditional and non-traditional forms, and the keiretsu. It extends existing research in two principal ways. First, alternative cross-national models of comparative advantage are nested to permit the identification of critical modeling assumptions underlying the divergent conclusions of the previous studies. Second, the results of the indirect method are externally validated by confronting these inferences with data on trade policy and the keiretsu. The results indicate that trade policy and the keiretsu have an important impact on Japanese trade performance. I would like to thank Masahiro Kawai, Robert Lawrence, Gary Saxonhouse, seminar participants at the Far Eastern Meetings of the Econometric Society, the Korean Institute for International Economic Policy, Berkeley, Southern California, Colorado, Johns Hopkins, Claremont, Santa Cruz, George Washington, the Japan Economic Seminar, and the anonymous referees for helpful comments on an earlier draft. Peter Uimonen, Chongshan Liu, and Yuichi Takahashi provided excellent research assistance; Robert Lawrence and Kazuo Ueda kindly shared their data on keiretsu.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcus Noland, 1996. "Public Policy, Private Preferences, and the Japanese Trade Pattern," Working Paper Series WP96-2, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:iie:wpaper:wp96-2
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    1. Olivier Blanchard & Florence Jaumotte & Prakash Loungani, 2014. "Labor market policies and IMF advice in advanced economies during the Great Recession," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-23, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Noland, Marcus, 1996. "Trade, investment, and economic conflict between the United States and Asia," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 435-458.
    2. Noland, Marcus, 1997. "Has Asian export performance been unique?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1-2), pages 79-101, August.
    3. Marcus Noland & Howard Pack, 2002. "Industrial Policies and Growth: Lessons From International Experience," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series,in: Norman Loayza & Raimundo Soto & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series Editor) (ed.), Economic Growth: Sources, Trends, and Cycles, edition 1, volume 6, chapter 9, pages 251-308 Central Bank of Chile.
    4. Belderbos, René & Wakasugi, Ryuhei & Zou, Jianglei, 2012. "Business groups, foreign direct investment, and capital goods trade: The import behavior of Japanese affiliates," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 187-200.
    5. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1993. "Is Japan Creating a Yen Bloc in East Asia and the Pacific?," NBER Chapters,in: Regionalism and Rivalry: Japan and the United States in Pacific Asia, pages 53-88 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Tri WIDODO & Diyah PUTRIANI, 2011. "RMB Devaluation and Asean5 Countries’ Exports to the US: Complementary or Substitute?," Review of Economic and Business Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, issue 8, pages 169-184, December.
    7. Lee, Donghyun, 2013. "New evidence on the link between exchange rates and asset-seeking acquisition FDI," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 153-158.
    8. Gary R. Saxonhouse, 1993. "What Does Japanese Trade Structure Tell Us about Japanese Trade Policy?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 21-43, Summer.
    9. Robert Z. Lawrence, 1993. "Japan's Different Trade Regime: An Analysis with Particular Reference to Seiretsu," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 3-19, Summer.

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