AREA member Prof. Dr. Jens Wrona is going to give an online talk in the AREA Ruhr Occasional Lectures Series on January 17, 2024 (13.15–14.45) with the following title:
“Culture, Tastes, and Market Integration: Testing the Localized Tastes Hypothesis”
Using monthly price data from the Survey of Wholesale Markets for Fruits and Vegetables of Japan, we demonstrate that regional taste differences are an obstacle to inter-regional market integration. We propose a novel strategy for identifying the causal effect of localized tastes on bilateral market integration, we propose a novel identification strategy. We use the spatial distribution of historical dialects in Japan to measure historical-cultural proximity, which can be used as an instrument for the persistent dissimilarity in local food preferences. In accordance with the localized taste hypothesis, we find that regions which historically did not share a similar dialect/culture are characterized by persistent taste differences, explaining the lack of bilateral market integration among these regions.
Jens Wrona is Professor for Economic Geography and East Asia at the Mercator School of Management (MSM) and the Institute for East Asian Studies (IN-EAST) at the University of Duisburg-Essen. He is CESifo Research Network Affiliate and affiliated with the Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE) and the Ruhr Graduate School (RGS). As a principal investigator Wrona is part of the DFG-funded RTG 2484 – Regional Disparities & Economic Policy. He conducts theoretical and empirical research in international, regional, and labour economics using data from Japan.
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