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When Did Firms Become More Different? Time-Varying Firm-Specific Volatility in Japan

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  • Emmanuel de Veirman
  • Andrew Levin

Abstract

We document how firm-specific volatility in sales, earnings and employment growth evolved year by year in Japan. Our volatility measure also indicates the evolution of firm turnover. We find that patterns in firm-specific volatility have changed when macroeconomic circumstances have. Firm turnover declined during the economic stagnation of 1991-1997. The deep downturn of fiscal years 1998-2002 coincided with a substantial increase in turnover in market, profit and employment shares. Firm volatility tended to decline during the recovery after 2002. We assess whether the rise in firm turnover and deep downturn in 1998-2002 indicate that after a period of stagnation, weak firms were finally allowed to shrink or fail. Our evidence suggests that the widening in the firm growth distribution at that time did not reflect weak firms shrinking relative to healthy firms, indicating that the two recessions in 1998-2002 were not "cleansing".

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department in its series DNB Working Papers with number 351.

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Date of creation: Oct 2012
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Handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:351

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Keywords: Firm volatility; firm health; zombie lending; cleansing recessions;

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  1. Shin-ichi Fukuda & Munehisa Kasuya & Kentaro Akashi, 2008. "Impaired Bank Health and Default Risk," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-564, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
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  3. Diego Comin & Sunil Mulani, 2006. "Diverging Trends in Aggregate and Firm Volatility," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 374-383, May.
  4. Emmanuel De Veirman & Andrew Levin, 2014. "Cyclical changes in firm volatility," DNB Working Papers 408, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  5. David C. Smith, 2003. "Loans to Japanese borrowers," International Finance Discussion Papers 769, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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  12. Diego Comin & Thomas Philippon, 2005. "The Rise in Firm-Level Volatility: Causes and Consequences," NBER Working Papers 11388, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. 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.
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  16. Chang-Jin Kim & Charles R. Nelson, 1999. "Has The U.S. Economy Become More Stable? A Bayesian Approach Based On A Markov-Switching Model Of The Business Cycle," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 608-616, November.
  17. Emmanuel De Veirman, 2009. "What Makes the Output-Inflation Trade-Off Change? The Absence of Accelerating Deflation in Japan," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(6), pages 1117-1140, 09.
  18. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger & Ron Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2007. "Volatility and Dispersion in Business Growth Rates: Publicly Traded versus Privately Held Firms," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2006, Volume 21, pages 107-180 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  20. Watanabe, Wako, 2010. "Does a large loss of bank capital cause Evergreening? Evidence from Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 116-136, March.
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