Fisheries Science

, Volume 84, Issue 6, pp 1109–1118 | Cite as

Impact of the Great East Japan Earthquake on the oyster market: a difference-in-differences estimation

  • Yutaro SakaiEmail author
  • Hiroki Wakamatsu
  • Tsutom Miyata
Original Article Social Science


This paper uses prefecture-level data during 1970–2015 to examine the impact of the Great East Japan Earthquake on the oyster market in Japan. Using a difference-in-differences estimation, we find that the disaster decreased the oyster production by 65%. This negative effect peaked in 2012, but did not completely disappear 4 years after the disaster. In contrast, we find that oyster prices only increased by 26%, and the parameter estimate is only marginally significant. Moreover, this impact is relatively constant over time. The apparent lack of price changes corresponding to large production changes can be caused by three factors: elastic demand, market integration, and demand shocks. We examine each possibility and conclude that the demand shocks due to the concern for radioactive contamination is the most likely cause of the small impact on oyster prices.


Consumer Difference-in-differences Great East Japan Earthquake Oyster Price Production Radioactive contamination 



We are grateful to Hikaru Oikawa for his excellent research assistance. This research is funded by Japans Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Council as part of a project for developing research on reforming the production system in fisheries and aquaculture.


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Copyright information

© Japanese Society of Fisheries Science 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of SustainabilityArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  2. 2.Japan Fisheries Research and Education AgencyNational Research Institute of Fisheries ScienceYokohamaJapan

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