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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. David C. Smith, 2003. "Loans to Japanese borrowers," International Finance Discussion Papers 769, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Fukuda, Shin-ichi & Kasuya, Munehisa & Akashi, Kentaro, 2009. "Impaired bank health and default risk," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 145-162, April.
  3. Emmanuel De Veirman, 2007. "Which nonlinearity in the Phillips curve? The absence of accelerating deflation in Japan," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series DP2007/14, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
  4. Margaret McConnell & Gabriel Perez Quiros, 2000. "Output fluctuations in the United States: what has changed since the early 1980s?," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
  5. Emmanuel De Veirman & Andrew Levin, 2011. "Cyclical changes in firm volatility," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series DP2011/06, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
  6. Shin-ichi Fukuda & Jun-ichi Nakamura, 2010. "Why Did "Zombie" Firms Recover in Japan?," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-751, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  7. Shin-ichi Fukuda & Munehisa Kasuya & Jouchi Nakajima, 2005. "Bank Health and Investment: An Analysis of Unlisted Companies in Japan," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-330, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  8. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger & Ron Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2006. "Volatility and Dispersion in Business Growth Rates: Publicly Traded versus Privately Held Firms," NBER Working Papers 12354, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Ricardo J. Caballero & Takeo Hoshi & Anil K. Kashyap, 2006. "Zombie Lending and Depressed Restructuring in Japan," NBER Working Papers 12129, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. repec:aei:rpaper:25796 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. 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.
  12. Alan G. Ahearne & Naoki Shinada, 2005. "Zombie Firms and Economic Stagnation in Japan," Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series d05-95, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
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  15. 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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  17. Gaston, Noel & Kishi, Tomoko, 2007. "Part-time workers doing full-time work in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 435-454, December.
  18. Smith, David C., 2003. "Loans to Japanese borrowers," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 283-304, September.
  19. Uesugi, Iichiro, 2008. "Efficiency of Credit Allocation and Effectiveness of Government Credit Guarantees: Evidence from Japanese Small Businesses," PIE/CIS Discussion Paper 353, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
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  21. 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.
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