Trade Policy Preferences and Cross-Regional Differences: Evidence from individual-level data of Japan

Author Name ITO Banri  (Harvard University / Senshu University) /MUKUNOKI Hiroshi  (Gakushuin University) /TOMIURA Eiichi  (Faculty Fellow, RIETI) /WAKASUGI Ryuhei  (Faculty Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. November 2014 14-J-052
Research Project Empirical Analysis of Trade Policy Preferences at the Individual Level in Japan
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This paper examines the determinants of individuals' preferences of trade policies, using micro data on the policy preferences of 10,000 individuals in Japan. Particularly, we focus on the effect of regional factors on trade policy preferences, considering the fact that there is a significant difference in preferences across regions. The results of the binary choice model show that regional factors affect people's trade policy preferences even after controlling for labor market attributes and social attributes. Specifically, people living in a region with a high share of agricultural workers are likely to support import restrictions even if they do not engage in agriculture, which is the most protected sector in Japan. However, for people who are considering moving, there is no correlation between the probability of supporting the protectionist trade policy and the regional agricultural workers share, suggesting that inter-regional workers' immobility affects their preferences of trade policy.

The English version of this paper is 15-E-003.