Is Japan's Trade (Still) Different?
21 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2003 Last revised: 27 Jun 2010
Date Written: November 2003
Does Japanese trade in manufactured goods differ from the rest-of-the world average and from the U.S.? We use a simple industry-level gravity model and 1981-1998 data to answer this question. We construct a measure of normalized imports by dividing bilateral industry-level imports by the importer's aggregate absorption and the exporter's industry output. We find that Japan imports less than other countries, but also exports less than other countries. Relative to the U.S., Japanese export performance is half as strong today as it was in the mid-1980s. Bilaterally, Japan's normalized imports from the U.S. are greater than U.S. normalized imports from Japan.
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