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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 T. 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 “cleansingâ€.

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File URL: http://cama.crawford.anu.edu.au/pdf/working-papers/2012/432012.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University in its series CAMA Working Papers with number 2012-43.

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Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:een:camaaa:2012-43

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Keywords: Firm volatility; Firm health; Zombie lending; Cleansing recessions;

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References

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  1. Emmanuel De Veirman & Andrew Levin, 2014. "Cyclical changes in firm volatility," DNB Working Papers 408, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  2. Margaret M. McConnell & Gabriel Perez Quiros, 1997. "Output fluctuations in the United States: what has changed since the early 1980s?," Research Paper 9735, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  3. Shin-ichi Fukuda & Jun-ichi Nakamura, 2010. "Why Did ?Zombie? Firms Recover in Japan?," CARF F-Series CARF-F-224, Center for Advanced Research in Finance, Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo.
  4. 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.
  5. Diego A. Comin & Thomas Philippon, 2006. "The Rise in Firm-Level Volatility: Causes and Consequences," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2005, Volume 20, pages 167-228 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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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  10. 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.
  11. 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. 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.
  17. Yasushi Hamao & Jianping Mei & Yexiao Xu, 2007. "Unique Symptoms of Japanese Stagnation: An Equity Market Perspective," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(4), pages 901-923, 06.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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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