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Sustainability, Volume 8, Issue 8 (August 2016)

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Open AccessArticle A MODIS-Based Retrieval Model of Suspended Particulate Matter Concentration for the Two Largest Freshwater Lakes in China
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 832; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8080832
Received: 15 May 2016 / Revised: 13 August 2016 / Accepted: 17 August 2016 / Published: 22 August 2016
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Abstract
Suspended particulate matter concentration (CSPM) is a key parameter describing case-II water quality. Empirical and semi-empirical models are frequently developed and applied for estimating CSPM values from remote sensing images; however, they are usually region- or season-dependent. This study
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Suspended particulate matter concentration (CSPM) is a key parameter describing case-II water quality. Empirical and semi-empirical models are frequently developed and applied for estimating CSPM values from remote sensing images; however, they are usually region- or season-dependent. This study aimed to develop a Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)-based retrieval model of CSPM for Poyang and Dongting Lake together. The 89 CSPM measurements in Poyang and Dongting Lake as well as their corresponding MODIS Terra images were used to calibrate CSPM retrieval models, and the calibration results showed that the exponential models of MODIS red band and red minus shortwave infrared (SWIR) band at 1240 nm both explained about 76% of the variation of CSPM of Poyang and Dongting Lake together. When the two models were applied to the validation datasets, the results indicated that the exponential model of red band obtained more stable CSPM estimations with no bias at a significance level of 0.05 in both lakes. The MODIS red-band-based model achieved acceptable results for estimating CSPM in both Poyang and Dongting Lake, and it provided a foundation for obtaining comparable spatiotemporal information of CSPM, which will be helpful for comparing, understanding, managing, and protecting the two aquatic ecosystems. Full article
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Open AccessReview Plant Pathology and Information Technology: Opportunity for Management of Disease Outbreak and Applications in Regulation Frameworks
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 831; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8080831
Received: 27 July 2016 / Revised: 13 August 2016 / Accepted: 18 August 2016 / Published: 22 August 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (217 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In many European rural areas, agriculture is not only an economic activity, but it is strictly linked to environmental and social characteristics of the area. Thus, sometimes, a pathogen can become a social threat, as in the case of Xylella fastidiosa and olive
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In many European rural areas, agriculture is not only an economic activity, but it is strictly linked to environmental and social characteristics of the area. Thus, sometimes, a pathogen can become a social threat, as in the case of Xylella fastidiosa and olive trees (Olea europaea L.) in Salento. Fast and systemic response to threats represents the key to success in stopping pest invasions, and proves a great help in managing lots of data in a short time or coordinating large-scale monitoring coming from applying Information Technology tools. Regarding the field of applications, the advantages provided by new technologies are countless. However, is it the same in agriculture? Electronic identification tools can be applied for plant health management and certification. Treatments, agrochemical management or impact assessment may also be supported by dematerialization of data. Information Technology solution for urban forestry management or traceability of commodities belonging to “Food from Somewhere” regimes were analyzed and compared to protection from pests of a unique tree heritage such as olive trees in Salento. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Role of Policy Makers and Institutions in the Energy Sector: The Case of Energy Infrastructure Governance in Nigeria
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 829; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8080829
Received: 3 May 2016 / Revised: 11 August 2016 / Accepted: 12 August 2016 / Published: 22 August 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1050 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper focuses on investigating the linkages and consequences of the policy decision process in the governance of energy infrastructure in Nigeria. It attempts to gain a better understanding of the role of policy makers and institutions in the provision of energy infrastructure
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This paper focuses on investigating the linkages and consequences of the policy decision process in the governance of energy infrastructure in Nigeria. It attempts to gain a better understanding of the role of policy makers and institutions in the provision of energy infrastructure in Nigeria. Using a combination of semi-structured interviews and documentary evidences from published literature, this study reveals three essential areas where the policy-making processes (and therefore policy makers) intervene in the provision of energy infrastructure. These are: (1) granting access to historical data; (2) regulations; and (3) permitting/issuance of licenses. This study also reveals three major unintended consequences of the policy decision processes and institutions in the governance of energy infrastructure provisions in Nigeria, which are: (1) government financing corruption in the energy sector; (2) economic delusion; and (3) uncontrolled growth in energy demand driven more by export and not local internal demand. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Location-Routing Problem with Simultaneous Home Delivery and Customer’s Pickup for City Distribution of Online Shopping Purchases
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 828; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8080828
Received: 21 June 2016 / Revised: 7 August 2016 / Accepted: 18 August 2016 / Published: 22 August 2016
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Abstract
With the increasing interest in online shopping, the Last Mile delivery is regarded as one of the most expensive and pollutive—and yet the least efficient—stages of the e-commerce supply chain. To address this challenge, a novel location-routing problem with simultaneous home delivery and
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With the increasing interest in online shopping, the Last Mile delivery is regarded as one of the most expensive and pollutive—and yet the least efficient—stages of the e-commerce supply chain. To address this challenge, a novel location-routing problem with simultaneous home delivery and customer’s pickup is proposed. This problem aims to build a more effective Last Mile distribution system by providing two kinds of service options when delivering packages to customers. To solve this specific problem, a hybrid evolution search algorithm by combining genetic algorithm (GA) and local search (LS) is presented. In this approach, a diverse population generation algorithm along with a two-phase solution initialization heuristic is first proposed to give high quality initial population. Then, advantaged solution representation, individual evaluation, crossover and mutation operations are designed to enhance the evolution and search efficiency. Computational experiments based on a large family of instances are conducted, and the results obtained indicate the validity of the proposed model and method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability in Supply Chain Management)
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Open AccessArticle Striving for Sustainable Development and the Coordinating Role of the Central Government: Lessons from Swedish Housing Policy
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 827; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8080827
Received: 1 June 2016 / Revised: 8 August 2016 / Accepted: 11 August 2016 / Published: 22 August 2016
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Abstract
Housing plays an important role in the development of welfare policies and also often in achieving sustainability goals. There exists, however, implementation gaps between policies and practices in urban development and housing. Here it should be possible to draw lessons from policy implementations
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Housing plays an important role in the development of welfare policies and also often in achieving sustainability goals. There exists, however, implementation gaps between policies and practices in urban development and housing. Here it should be possible to draw lessons from policy implementations in the past. In this article we explore the strategies of the Swedish central government in implementing a social housing policy in the mid-20th century. The policy was successfully implemented in that it resulted in the rapid expansion and modernisation of the Swedish apartment stock in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and acute housingshortages and poor housing standards were overcome. The main lesson learned from the Swedish case study is the critical role of the central government in implementation throughthe strategic coordination of policy aims, instruments, stakeholders and interests throughout the implementation process. Although the central government could have used hard, almost authoritarian policy instruments to force the realisation of the new policy, it mainly used soft policy tools and focused on coordination. In the contemporary networked governance setting, the central government, like no other player, still has the potential to guide and coordinate implementation processes for the realization of sustainable housing visions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Open AccessArticle Impact of Carbon Quota Allocation Mechanism on Emissions Trading: An Agent-Based Simulation
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 826; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8080826
Received: 27 May 2016 / Revised: 30 July 2016 / Accepted: 11 August 2016 / Published: 22 August 2016
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (843 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper establishes an agent-based simulation system of the carbon emissions trading in accordance with the complex feature of the trading process. This system analyzes the impact of the carbon quota allocation mechanism on emissions trading for three different aspects including the amount
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This paper establishes an agent-based simulation system of the carbon emissions trading in accordance with the complex feature of the trading process. This system analyzes the impact of the carbon quota allocation mechanism on emissions trading for three different aspects including the amount of emissions reduction, the economic effect on the emitters, and the emissions reduction cost. Based on the data of the carbon emissions of different industries in China, several simulations were made. The results indicate that the emissions trading policy can effectively reduce carbon emissions in a perfectly competitive market. Moreover, by comparing separate quota allocation mechanisms, we obtain the result that the scheme with a small extent quota decrease in a comprehensive allocation mechanism can minimize the unit carbon emission cost. Implementing this scheme can also achieve minimal effects of carbon emissions limitation on the economy on the basis that the environment is not destroyed. However, excessive quota decrease cannot promote the emitters to reduce emission. Taking into account that several developing countries have the dual task of limiting carbon emissions and developing the economy, it is necessary to adopt a comprehensive allocation mechanism of the carbon quota and increase the initial proportion of free allocation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Comparison of European Olive Production Systems
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 825; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8080825
Received: 30 May 2016 / Revised: 16 August 2016 / Accepted: 17 August 2016 / Published: 22 August 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2013 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
(1) Background: Spain, Italy, and Greece are the world’s top olive oil producers. In recent decades, these countries have gradually diversified their farming system in the olive groves. The element of innovation with respect to the state of the art is that this
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(1) Background: Spain, Italy, and Greece are the world’s top olive oil producers. In recent decades, these countries have gradually diversified their farming system in the olive groves. The element of innovation with respect to the state of the art is that this paper aims to compare the environmental performance of different farming systems in a European context by performing a simplified Life Cycle Assessment; (2) Methods: Environmental performance was calculated according to the methodology of Life Cycle Assessment and the “Guidance for the implementation of the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF)”. Average data were considered in order to describe a system with a great degree of complexity and high spatial heterogeneity; (3) Results: The study highlights the difficulty of identifying the farming method that presents the best environmental performance in each of the impact categories considered. In Greece, the lowest use of diesel, electricity, and water brings about advantages for many impact categories, albeit with low yields. While the highest olive yield obtained in Italy has positive consequences in terms of global warming, the highest use of fertilisers, in many cases, entails higher environmental impacts. On the other hand, in Spain the highest use of organo-phosphorous pesticides entails the highest impacts of eco-toxicity; (4) Conclusion: the reduction of the use of fertilizers and pesticides, as well as water conservation, are important issues which require the optimization of timing and techniques in order to achieve environmental advantages. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Analyzing the Drivers of Advanced Sustainable Manufacturing System Using AHP Approach
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 824; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8080824
Received: 11 May 2016 / Revised: 4 August 2016 / Accepted: 12 August 2016 / Published: 22 August 2016
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (459 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A number of current manufacturing sectors are striving hard to introduce innovative long-term strategies into their operations. As a result, many scholarly studies have found it fruitful to investigate advanced manufacturing strategies such as agile, computer-integrated, and cellular manufacturing. Through the example of
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A number of current manufacturing sectors are striving hard to introduce innovative long-term strategies into their operations. As a result, many scholarly studies have found it fruitful to investigate advanced manufacturing strategies such as agile, computer-integrated, and cellular manufacturing. Through the example of downstream cases, manufacturing sectors have learned that financial benefits garnered through automated technologies cannot be counted on as a sole measure to ensure their success in today’s competitive and fluctuating marketplaces. The objective of this study is to integrate those advanced techniques with sustainable operations, to promote advanced sustainable manufacturing so those manufacturing sectors can thrive even in uncertain markets. To establish this connection, this study analyzes the drivers of advanced sustainable manufacturing through a proposed framework validated through a case study in India. Common drivers are collected from the literature, calibrated with opinions from experts, and analyzed through an analytical hierarchy process (AHP), which is a multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) approach. This study reveals that quality is the primary driver that pressures manufacturing sectors to adopt advanced sustainable manufacturing. Manufacturers can easily note the top ranked driver and adopt it to soundly implement advanced sustainable manufacturing. In addition, some key future scopes are explored along with possible recommendations for effective implementation of advanced sustainable manufacturing systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How Better Decision-Making Helps to Improve Sustainability)
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Open AccessEditorial Toward a Sustainable Low-Carbon China: A Review of the Special Issue of “Energy Economics and Management”
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 823; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8080823
Received: 14 August 2016 / Accepted: 17 August 2016 / Published: 22 August 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (176 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Severe environmental quality deterioration, along with predatory exploitation of energy resources, are generally associated with economic growth, especially in China. Against this background, the 6th Annual Conference of Energy Economics and Management provides a platform for examining outperforming governance factors and mechanisms of
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Severe environmental quality deterioration, along with predatory exploitation of energy resources, are generally associated with economic growth, especially in China. Against this background, the 6th Annual Conference of Energy Economics and Management provides a platform for examining outperforming governance factors and mechanisms of energy economics and policy. Thanks to Sustainability for providing this special issue. This editorial highlights the contents and methodologies of the special issue for this conference, presenting diverse issues in energy economics and management. We also suggest guidelines for future study in energy economics and management. Full article
Open AccessArticle Grain Output and Cultivated Land Preservation: Assessment of the Rewarded Land Conversion Quotas Trading Policy in China’s Zhejiang Province
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 821; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8080821
Received: 11 July 2016 / Revised: 4 August 2016 / Accepted: 16 August 2016 / Published: 22 August 2016
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Abstract
Although it is difficult, many countries are attempting to balance economic development and cultivated land preservation for various reasons. China’s experience is a good illustration of such challenges during rapid economic development and urbanization. The central government of China emphasized the high self-sufficiency
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Although it is difficult, many countries are attempting to balance economic development and cultivated land preservation for various reasons. China’s experience is a good illustration of such challenges during rapid economic development and urbanization. The central government of China emphasized the high self-sufficiency ratio of grain and therefore set a bottom-line for the area of cultivated land in order to ensure food security. The State Council of China requires that the area of cultivated land should not be less than 120,000,000 hectares until 2020 through strict land management measures. In view of such stringent regulations, various alternative practices, such as rewarded land conversion quota (RLCQ) trading in Zhejiang Province, have been proposed to satisfy the construction demand while preserving cultivated land. This study empirically investigates the impact of RLCQ trading on cultivated land preservation in terms of grain output. Results showed that RLCQ trading leads to decreased grain production, measured in both total grain output and grain output per hectare, for both buyers and sellers. Furthermore, buyers of land quotas experience a more severe grain reduction than sellers. The findings suggest that RLCQ trading is unfavorable to cultivated land preservation in terms of grain output. Recognizing this dilemma, local governments should improve the land market mechanism to motivate intensive use of existing construction land and consolidation for improving quality of cultivated land. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Effect of a Denser City over the Urban Microclimate: The Case of Toronto
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 822; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8080822
Received: 14 July 2016 / Revised: 17 August 2016 / Accepted: 17 August 2016 / Published: 19 August 2016
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (14307 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the last decades, several studies have revealed how critical the urban heat island (UHI) effect can be in cities located in cold climates, such as the Canadian one. Meanwhile, many researchers have looked at the impact of the city design over the
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In the last decades, several studies have revealed how critical the urban heat island (UHI) effect can be in cities located in cold climates, such as the Canadian one. Meanwhile, many researchers have looked at the impact of the city design over the urban microclimate, and have raised concerns about the development of too dense cities. Under the effect of the “Places to Growth” plan, the city of Toronto is experiencing one of the highest rates of building development in North America. Over 48,000 and 33,000 new home permits were issued in 2012 and 2013 respectively, and at the beginning of 2015, almost 500 high-rise proposals across the Greater Toronto Area were released. In this context, it is important to investigate how new constructions will affect the urban microclimate, and to propose strategies to mitigate possible UHI effects. Using the software ENVI-met, microclimate simulations for the Church-Yonge corridor both in the current situation and with the new constructions are reported in this paper. The outdoor air temperature and the wind speed are the parameters used to assess the outdoor microclimate changes. The results show that the new constructions could increase the wind speed around the buildings. However, high-rise buildings will somewhat reduce the air temperature during day-time, as they will create large shadow areas, with lower average mean radiant temperature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Heat Island)
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Open AccessArticle Breaking Resilient Patterns of Inequality in Santiago de Chile: Challenges to Navigate towards a More Sustainable City
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 820; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8080820
Received: 26 May 2016 / Revised: 14 August 2016 / Accepted: 17 August 2016 / Published: 19 August 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (2683 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Resilience can have desirable and undesirable consequences. Thus, resilience should not be viewed as a normative desirable goal, but as a descriptor of complex systems dynamics. From this perspective, we apply resilience thinking concepts to assess the dynamics of inequality, spatial segregation, and
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Resilience can have desirable and undesirable consequences. Thus, resilience should not be viewed as a normative desirable goal, but as a descriptor of complex systems dynamics. From this perspective, we apply resilience thinking concepts to assess the dynamics of inequality, spatial segregation, and sustainability in Chile’s capital city of Santiago. Chile’s economy boosted since democracy was restored in 1990, but continuity of neoliberal reforms and transformations of Pinochet’s dictatorship (1973–1990) seem to have locked Chilean cities in resilient, albeit unsustainable, patterns of uneven development. Socio-economic data from Santiago shows highly resilient patterns of urban inequality and segregation from 1992 to 2009 despite democratic efforts, political agendas and discourses packed with calls for reducing poverty and inequality. We present a conceptual model based on the notion of stability landscapes to explore potential trade-offs between resilience and sustainable development. We mapped Santiago’s spatio-temporal inequality trends and explored if these patterns support an inequality-resilience stability landscape. Analysis of temporal and spatial distribution of development assets across four human development dimensions (i.e., income, education, health, democracy) revealed potential socio-political and spatial feedbacks supporting the resilience of inequality and segregation in Santiago. We argue that urban sustainability may require breaking this resilience, a process where bottom-up stressors such as social movements could play a key role. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Resilience and Urban Sustainability: From Research to Practice)
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Open AccessArticle Impact of Environmental Regulation and Technical Progress on Industrial Carbon Productivity: An Approach Based on Proxy Measure
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 819; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8080819
Received: 11 July 2016 / Revised: 16 August 2016 / Accepted: 17 August 2016 / Published: 19 August 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1085 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This research aims to study the main influencing factors of China’s industrial carbon productivity by incorporating environmental regulation and technical progress into an econometric model. The paper focuses on data from 35 of China’s industrial sectors and covers the period from 2006 to
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This research aims to study the main influencing factors of China’s industrial carbon productivity by incorporating environmental regulation and technical progress into an econometric model. The paper focuses on data from 35 of China’s industrial sectors and covers the period from 2006 to 2014, in order to examine the impact of environmental regulation and technical progress on carbon productivity. Methods applied include panel fixed effect model, panel random effect model and two stage least squares with instrumental variables (IV-2SLS). The effect of environmental regulation and technical progress has industrial heterogeneity. The paper subdivides industrial sectors into capital and technology intensive, resource intensive and labor intensive sectors according to factor intensiveness. The estimation results of the subgroups have uncovered that for capital and technology intensive and resource intensive sectors, environmental regulation has a more significant impact than technical progress; while for labor intensive sectors, innovation more significantly influences carbon productivity. In addition, foreign direct investment (FDI) and industrialization level facilitate improving carbon productivity for the full sample. By contrast, industrial structure inhibits the overall industrial carbon productivity. The industry-specific results indicate that for capital and technology intensive sectors, optimizing of the industrial structure can improve carbon productivity; for resource intensive sectors, FDI and energy consumption structure should be emphasized more; for labor intensive sectors, industrialization levels help enhance carbon productivity. Finally the industrial sector-specific policy suggestions are proposed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Adaptive Curtailment Plan with Energy Storage for AC/DC Combined Distribution Systems
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 818; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8080818
Received: 30 June 2016 / Revised: 8 August 2016 / Accepted: 17 August 2016 / Published: 19 August 2016
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Abstract
For developing a large-scale combined system with a number of distributed resources, an appropriate compensation strategy based on the system components and changeable condition must be configured to handle the characteristics of the internal systems. Since renewable sources generate various fluctuations, the compensation
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For developing a large-scale combined system with a number of distributed resources, an appropriate compensation strategy based on the system components and changeable condition must be configured to handle the characteristics of the internal systems. Since renewable sources generate various fluctuations, the compensation plans for the storage device connected along with the sources should be supported by a precise expectation method. A cooperative strategy involving the sharing of the DC section with environmentally sensitive generators, like photovoltaic system (PVs) or waves, demands appropriate ESS compensation solutions, owing to its complexity. An active power-control algorithm with voltage-expectation based on the DC power flow is introduced in this paper and is applied in the designed case studies performed on the electromagnetic transient simulation. DC based multi-generation system is composed by applying tidal generator and super capacitor. To utilize wind energy, an offshore wind–wave generation system was utilized in the verification process. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Evaluating Welfare Effects of Rice Import Quota in Japan: Based on Measuring Non-Tariff Barriers of SBS Rice Imports
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 817; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8080817
Received: 1 August 2016 / Revised: 12 August 2016 / Accepted: 16 August 2016 / Published: 19 August 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (947 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The principal objective of this study is to analyze welfare effects of Japan’s rice import quota focusing on the simultaneous buy and sell (SBS) of the rice importation minimum access (MA) policy. Based on the utility function specified in this study, the constructed
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The principal objective of this study is to analyze welfare effects of Japan’s rice import quota focusing on the simultaneous buy and sell (SBS) of the rice importation minimum access (MA) policy. Based on the utility function specified in this study, the constructed model is adopted to measure consumption patterns through estimating elasticity of substitution between imported rice and Japan’s domestic rice, and consumers’ preference parameters for different kinds of rice. The results showed that Japanese households prefer domestic rice to the imported rice. Besides, three scenarios of adjusting rice quota volumes were carried out to examine the changes in consumer prices of imported rice and Japanese consumers’ welfares. The results revealed that tariff equivalents of the SBS import quota almost doubled the scale of the mark-up, and the intervention by the Ministry of Agriculture of Japan did cause non-tariff barriers to trade (NTBs). Finally, if the SBS rice quota quantity was fixed at or larger than 180 thousand tons every fiscal year, the consumer prices of imported rice in Japan’s market would decrease to be less than the prices of Japan’s domestic rice, and therefore the imported rice would have more price advantages in this scenario. Full article
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