Distribution in Japan

Front Cover
Yoshiro Miwa, Yoshirō Miwa, Kiyohiko Nishimura, Professor of Economics Kiyohiko G Nishimura, J. Mark Ramseyer, Mitsubishi Professor of Japanese Legal Studies J Mark Ramseyer
Oxford University Press, 2002 - Business & Economics - 212 pages
Several years have passed since the 'store wars' over barriers to foreign products at Japanese distribution firms. Yet among English-speaking readers, how these firms operate remains a puzzle. In this book, the best Japanese scholars in their fields attempt to unravel that puzzle. Avoidingculture-based explanations, they employ a systematic and rigorous economic logic---yet, since they also avoid mathematical notation, the argument remains accessible to generalist readers.Collectively, the authors make four basic points:* Within a country, distribution is less similar than it appears. Not only does it vary enormously across industries, but it often varies within a given industry as well.* Across countries, distribution is less diverse than it appears. Although appearances sometimes suggest major cross-national contrasts, on more careful analysis the differences often disappear.* Distribution sometimes depends on the product involved. Because distribution functions as the principal means by which manufacturers acquire information about consumer preferences, the character of distribution can depend crucially both on demand patterns and on manufacturing technology.* In the absence of regulatory intervention, distribution generally will be efficient and non-exclusionary. Regulation usually introduces inefficiency and often creates barriers to entry. Importantly, however, the targets of exclusion will less often involve foreign than domestic competitors.To illustrate these points, the authors draw on both analyses that cross various sectors and analyses that are specific to sectors; they study both regulated and unregulated industries; they describe industries with extensive imports, industries with extensive exports, and industries with neither;they examine the effect of technological change; and they introduce a variety of case studies, from agriculture and automobiles to electrical appliances and apparel.

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About the author (2002)

Yoshiro Miwa: Lecturer in Economics (1976--77) and Associate Professor of Economics (1977--86), Shishu University; Associate Professor of Economics (1986--89) and Professor of Economics (1989--present), The University of Tokyo. Kiyohiko G. Nishimura: Arthur M. Okun Research Fellow, BrookingsInstitution (1981--82), Associate Professor of Economics (1983--94) and Professor of Economics (1994--present), The University of Tokyo. J. Mark Ramseyer: law clerk to Hon. Stephen Breyer, 1st Cir. U.S. Court of Appeals (1982--83); associate attorney, Sidley and Austin (1983--85); Fulbright Fellow,University of Tokyo Faculty of Law (1985--86); Acting Professor of Law (1986--89) and Professor of Law (1989--92), UCLA; Professor of Law (1992--97) and Harold and Marion Green Professor of International Legal Studies (1997--98), University of Chicago; Mitsubishi Professor of Japanese Legal Studies,Harvard University (1998--present).

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