Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Monday, February 28, 2011

Kamata to use grant to study international trade, individual firms


Isao Kamata

Professor Isao Kamata has won a $37,000 grant from the University of Wisconsin–Madison Graduate School to analyze the effects of globalization on Japanese firms and the goods they produce.

Kamata plans visit a research institute in Tokyo to examine international trade from the perspective of individual firms using data collected by a Japanese government agency. He intends to extend his research to other Asian countries.

"In today's globalized economy, more countries have been involved in international trade and expanded their industrial production, with industries that are exporting for the first time," Kamata says. "Facing the challenge from these new exporters, older exporters have introduced innovations to differentiate their products from those of the emerging countries and to maintain their competitiveness in markets. The expansion of such product varieties explains a large proportion of recent growth of world trade."

Kamata's research will broaden understanding about industrialization and product variety in Asia by incorporating data about individual firms, their products and their exports. Kamata's model predicts patterns of export varieties in relation to a country's economic structure and can be expanded to demonstrate transitions in the patterns more dynamically.

Kamata's research and teaching interests include international trade, international labor and capital migration; development economics; and applied microeconomics. Prior to earning his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan in 2008, Kamata served in various economic development positions with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation. He has overseen energy sector development projects in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. He joined the La Follette School of Public Affairs in 2009.