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Regulation, Distribution Efficiency, and Retail Density


  • David Flath


After outlining characteristics of Japan's distribution sector, a comprehensive international comparison of it to those of other nations is presented and analyzed for underlying differences. This leads to an explanation of Japan's retail store density, which is then related to the structure of wholesale channels. Next, some details on the Large Store Law of Japan and regulatory distortion, including empirical evidence on its extent are offered. Data on the structure of the retail sector by store format and on differences among prefectures in density and format are then presented.

Suggested Citation

  • David Flath, 2003. "Regulation, Distribution Efficiency, and Retail Density," NBER Working Papers 9450, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9450
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Flath, David, 2014. "The Japanese Economy," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 3, number 9780198702405.
    2. David Flath & Tatsuhiko Nariu, 2008. "The Complexity of Wholesale Distribution Channels in Japan," Japanese Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(2), pages 68-86.
    3. Flath, David, 1989. "Vertical restraints in Japan," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 187-203, March.
    4. Geoffrey Heal, 1980. "Spatial Structure in the Retail Trade: A Study in Product Differentiation with Increasing Returns," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 11(2), pages 565-583, Autumn.
    5. repec:cor:louvrp:-713 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Flath, David & Nariu, Tatsuhiko, 1996. "Is Japan's Retail Sector Truly Distinctive?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 181-191, October.
    7. Takatoshi Ito & Masayoshi Maruyama, 1991. "Is the Japanese Distribution System Really Inefficient?," NBER Chapters,in: Trade with Japan: Has the Door Opened Wider?, pages 149-174 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1995. "Complementarities and fit strategy, structure, and organizational change in manufacturing," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 179-208, April.
    9. Dirk Pilat, 1997. "Regulation and Performance in the Distribution Sector," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 180, OECD Publishing.
    10. Flath, David, 1990. "Why are there so many retail stores in Japan?," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 365-386, December.
    11. Olivier Boylaud & Giuseppe Nicoletti, 2003. "Regulatory reform in retail distribution," OECD Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2001(1), pages 253-274.
    12. Gary S. Becker, 1983. "A Theory of Competition Among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400.
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    Cited by:

    1. Viviano, Eliana, 2008. "Entry regulations and labour market outcomes: Evidence from the Italian retail trade sector," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 1200-1222, December.
    2. Nezih Guner & Gustavo Ventura & Xu Yi, 2008. "Macroeconomic Implications of Size-Dependent Policies," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(4), pages 721-744, October.
    3. Hamid Faruqee, 2004. "Exchange Rate Pass-Through in the Euro Area; The Role of Asymmetric Pricing Behavior," IMF Working Papers 04/14, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Fernando Borraz & Juan Dubra & Daniel Ferrés & Leandro Zipitría, 2009. "Supermarket Entry and its effect on small stores in Montevideo, 1998 to 2007," Documentos de trabajo 2009005, Banco Central del Uruguay.
    5. Guner, Nezih & Ventura, Gustavo & Yi, Xu, 2006. "How costly are restrictions on size?," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 302-320, August.

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