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Global agricultural trade impact of the 2011 triple disaster in Japan: A gravity approach

Dimitrios Dadakas and Stavroula Tatsi

Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 2021, vol. 65, issue 4, 937-972

Abstract: We examine the evolution of global agricultural trade flows in the light of the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan. After the 2011 disasters, safety concerns led to the implementation of international surveillance measures on agricultural products from Japan. The physical damages, the domestic and foreign restrictions to production and trade, combined with actual and perceived health risks, affected consumer behaviour and reshaped production, consumption and trade. The existing literature has thoroughly examined individual sectoral effects, mainly through stylised facts and mainly for Japan; however, there is no analysis to date on the effects of the triple disaster on global trade flows of agriculture. With Japan holding 4.1 per cent of global exports of agricultural products and 0.4 per cent of global imports, transmission of the effects to global markets could lead to disruptions in global supply chains, worldwide distribution and trade. We use a gravity approach, together with 2000–2018 panel data and a Poisson Pseudo Maximum Likelihood (PPML) estimator to discuss the impact of the disasters on global trade flows of agriculture. Results for Japan indicate a negative effect on both exports and imports extending until 2014. Counterfactual analysis results suggest transmission of the negative effects to global exports of agricultural products.

Date: 2021
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