Is Japan's retail sector truly distinctive?

Flath, David; Nariu, Tatsuhiko

Based on statistical analysis of data for 17 countries, Japan's ubiquity of retail stores is largely predicted by its relatively small dwellings, geographic concentration, and high number of commercial vehicles relative to private ones, controlling for the effects of population density. All are factors that economic theory associates with density of retail outlets. This evidence refutes the widespread view that Japan's structure of retail trade is determined by cultural, historical, and regulatory factors unique to Japan.

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Academic Units
Center on Japanese Economy and Business
Center on Japanese Economy and Business, Graduate School of Business, Columbia University
Center on Japanese Economy and Business Working Papers, 72
Published Here
February 8, 2011