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Did the least developed countries benefit from duty-free quota-free access to the Japanese market?


  • Ito, Tadashi


Countries classified as least developed countries (LDCs) were granted duty-free quota-free (DFQF) access to the Japanese market. This study examines the impact of that access and finds that, in general, it did not benefit the LDCs. The construction of concordance tables for Japan's 9 digit tariff line codes enables analysis at the tariff line level, which overcomes a possible aggregation bias. The exogenous nature of DFQF access mitigates the endogeneity problem. Various estimation models, including the triple difference estimator, show that in general the LDCs did not benefit from DFQF access to the Japanese market. The total value of imports from LDCs has been increasing, but the imports granted both zero tariffs and substantial preference margins over non-LDC countries were not successful. These findings suggest that for LDCs the tariff barrier is a relatively small obstacle: Trade is affected more strongly by other factors, such as infrastructure, nontariff barriers, geographic distance, and cultural differences.

Suggested Citation

  • Ito, Tadashi, 2013. "Did the least developed countries benefit from duty-free quota-free access to the Japanese market?," IDE Discussion Papers 434, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
  • Handle: RePEc:jet:dpaper:dpaper434

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Garth Frazer & Johannes Van Biesebroeck, 2010. "Trade Growth under the African Growth and Opportunity Act," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(1), pages 128-144, February.
    2. Roberto Álvarez & Hasan Faruq & Ricardo A. LÓPEZ, 2013. "Is Previous Export Experience Important for New Exports?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(3), pages 426-441, March.
    3. J. M. C. Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2006. "The Log of Gravity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(4), pages 641-658, November.
    4. Roberto Álvarez & Hasan Faruq & Ricardo A. López, 2010. "Is Previous Exporting Experience Relevant for New Exports?," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 599, Central Bank of Chile.
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    Cited by:

    1. Eugenio Díaz Bonilla & David Laborde, 2015. "The Bali Agreement: An Assessment from the Perspective of Developing Countries," Working Papers id:7477, eSocialSciences.

    More about this item


    Developing countries; Japan; International trade; Trade policy; Foreign investments; Tariff; Export platform FDI;

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration

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