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Zombie Lending and Depressed Restructuring in Japan

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  • Ricardo J. Caballero
  • Takeo Hoshi
  • Anil K. Kashyap

Abstract

Large Japanese banks often engaged in sham loan restructurings that kept credit flowing to otherwise insolvent borrowers (which we call zombies). We examine the implications of suppressing the normal competitive process whereby the zombies would shed workers and lose market share. The congestion created by the zombies reduces the profits for healthy firms, which discourages their entry and investment. We confirm that zombie-dominated industries exhibit more depressed job creation and destruction, and lower productivity. We present firm-level regressions showing that the increase in zombies depressed the investment and employment growth of non-zombies and widened the productivity gap between zombies and non-zombies. (JEL G21, G32, L25)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 98 (2008)
Issue (Month): 5 (December)
Pages: 1943-77

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:98:y:2008:i:5:p:1943-77

Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.98.5.1943
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  1. Nakakuki, Masayuki & Otani, Akira & Shiratsuka, Shigenori, 2004. "Distortions in Factor Markets and Structural Adjustments in the Economy," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 22(2), pages 71-99, May.
  2. Alan Ahearne & Naoki Shinada, 2005. "Zombie firms and economic stagnation in Japan," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 2(4), pages 363-381, December.
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  5. Sakai, Koji & Uesugi, Iichiro & Watanabe, Tsutomu, 2010. "Firm age and the evolution of borrowing costs: Evidence from Japanese small firms," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1970-1981, August.
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  7. Smith, David C., 2003. "Loans to Japanese borrowers," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 283-304, September.
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  11. Joe Peek & Eric S. Rosengren, 2005. "Unnatural Selection: Perverse Incentives and the Misallocation of Credit in Japan," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1144-1166, September.
  12. Takeo Hoshi & Anil K. Kashyap, 2004. "Japan's Financial Crisis and Economic Stagnation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 3-26, Winter.
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  16. Sekine, Toshitaka & Kobayashi, Keiichiro & Saita, Yumi, 2003. "Forbearance Lending: The Case of Japanese Firms," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 21(2), pages 69-92, August.
  17. Caballero, R-J & Hammour, M-L, 1996. "The Macroeconomics of Specificity," Working papers 96-25, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
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  1. Is a lost decade ahead?
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2012-07-13 13:56:00
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