The economic rationality of the Japanese distribution system

David Flath
The unique features of the Japanese distribution system are usually described as backwards and economically inefficient. In academic writing on both sides of the Pacific, references to Japanese tradition, culture, history, and laws and regulations are frequent. The features of Japan's distribution system that are most often claimed to defy economic rationality include (1) the ubiquity of small retail stores and the long and convoluted channels through which goods must be shipped in order to...
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