IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Propping and tunneling: Empirical evidence from Japanese keiretsu


  • Dow, Sandra
  • McGuire, Jean


We examine the response of horizontal and vertical keiretsu to the changing economic and regulatory climate in Japan from 1987 to 2001. We find evidence of profit tunneling of more weakly affiliated keiretsu firms during strong economic times. We observe propping of weakly aligned firms during recession. Many horizontal keiretsu firms strengthened their degree of adhesion to the horizontal keiretsu in response to increasingly tightened credit conditions post-1991. The motivation behind strengthened affiliation appears primarily linked to the goal of overcoming financial constraints by accessing the internal capital market of the business group.

Suggested Citation

  • Dow, Sandra & McGuire, Jean, 2009. "Propping and tunneling: Empirical evidence from Japanese keiretsu," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(10), pages 1817-1828, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:33:y:2009:i:10:p:1817-1828

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Nobuyuki Isagawa, 2007. "A Theory Of Unwinding Of Cross-Shareholding Under Managerial Entrenchment," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 30(2), pages 163-179.
    3. Stijn Claessens & Simeon Djankov & Joseph P. H. Fan & Larry H. P. Lang, 2002. "Disentangling the Incentive and Entrenchment Effects of Large Shareholdings," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(6), pages 2741-2771, December.
    4. Marianne Bertrand & Paras Mehta & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "Ferreting out Tunneling: An Application to Indian Business Groups," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 121-148.
    5. Masahiro Kawai, 2005. "Reform of the Japanese banking system," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 2(4), pages 307-335, December.
    6. Gopalan, Radhakrishnan & Nanda, Vikram & Seru, Amit, 2007. "Affiliated firms and financial support: Evidence from Indian business groups," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(3), pages 759-795, December.
    7. Kaplan, Steven N. & Minton, Bernadette A., 1994. "Appointments of outsiders to Japanese boards: Determinants and implications for managers," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 225-258, October.
    8. Johnson, Simon & Boone, Peter & Breach, Alasdair & Friedman, Eric, 2000. "Corporate governance in the Asian financial crisis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 141-186.
    9. 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.
    10. repec:hrv:faseco:30747165 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Tarun Khanna & Yishay Yafeh, 2007. "Business Groups in Emerging Markets: Paragons or Parasites?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(2), pages 331-372, June.
    12. Jae-Seung Baek & Jun-Koo Kang & Inmoo Lee, 2006. "Business Groups and Tunneling: Evidencefrom Private Securities Offeringsby Korean Chaebols," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(5), pages 2415-2449, October.
    13. Friedman, Eric & Johnson, Simon & Mitton, Todd, 2003. "Propping and tunneling," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 732-750, December.
    14. Mitchell A. Petersen, 2009. "Estimating Standard Errors in Finance Panel Data Sets: Comparing Approaches," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(1), pages 435-480, January.
    15. Gugler, Klaus & Yurtoglu, B. Burcin, 2003. "Corporate governance and dividend pay-out policy in Germany," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 731-758, August.
    16. Hoshi, Takeo & Kashyap, Anil & Scharfstein, David, 1990. "The role of banks in reducing the costs of financial distress in Japan," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 67-88, September.
    17. Takeo Hoshi, 2006. "Economics Of The Living Dead," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 57(1), pages 30-49.
    18. Djankov, Simeon & La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei, 2008. "The law and economics of self-dealing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3), pages 430-465, June.
    19. Riyanto, Yohanes E. & Toolsema, Linda A., 2008. "Tunneling and propping: A justification for pyramidal ownership," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(10), pages 2178-2187, October.
    20. Edith Ginglinger & Jean-Francois L'her, 2006. "Ownership structure and open market stock repurchases in France," The European Journal of Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(1), pages 77-94.
    21. Jean McGuire & Sandra Dow, 2009. "Japanese keiretsu: Past, present, future," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 333-351, June.
    22. Lee, Sangwoo & Park, Kwangwoo & Shin, Hyun-Han, 2009. "Disappearing internal capital markets: Evidence from diversified business groups in Korea," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 326-334, February.
    23. Bertrand, Marianne & Johnson, Simon & Samphantharak, Krislert & Schoar, Antoinette, 2008. "Mixing family with business: A study of Thai business groups and the families behind them," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3), pages 466-498, June.
    24. Larry H. P. Lang & Mara Faccio & Leslie Young, 2001. "Dividends and Expropriation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 54-78, March.
    25. Kee-Hong Bae & Jun-Koo Kang & Jin-Mo Kim, 2002. "Tunneling or Value Added? Evidence from Mergers by Korean Business Groups," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(6), pages 2695-2740, December.
    26. Cheung, Yan-Leung & Rau, P. Raghavendra & Stouraitis, Aris, 2006. "Tunneling, propping, and expropriation: evidence from connected party transactions in Hong Kong," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 343-386, November.
    27. Rousseau, Peter L. & Kim, Jong Hun, 2008. "A flight to Q? Firm investment and financing in Korea before and after the 1997 financial crisis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1416-1429, July.
    28. Kunal Banerji & Rakesh B Sambharya, 1996. "Vertical Keiretsu and International Market Entry: The Case of the Japanese Automobile Ancillary Industry," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 27(1), pages 89-113, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Yasuharu Aoki, 2014. "How Does the Largest Shareholder Affect Dividends?," International Review of Finance, International Review of Finance Ltd., vol. 14(4), pages 613-645, December.
    2. Boubaker, Sabri & Nguyen, Pascal & Rouatbi, Wael, 2012. "Large shareholders and firm risk-taking behavior," MPRA Paper 39005, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Brouthers, Lance Eliot & Gao, Yan & Napshin, Stuart, 2014. "Keiretsu centrality — profits and profit stability: A power dependence perspective," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(12), pages 2603-2610.
    4. Lorenzo Burlon, 2015. "Ownership networks and aggregate volatility," 2015 Meeting Papers 1157, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Choi, Jongmoo Jay & Hiraki, Takato & Landi, James A., 2014. "The value of multinationality and business group for Japanese firms," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 88-110.
    6. Hamelin, Anaïs, 2011. "Small business groups enhance performance and promote stability, not expropriation. Evidence from French SMEs," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 613-626, March.
    7. Kang, Hyung Cheol & Anderson, Robert M. & Eom, Kyong Shik & Kang, Sang Koo, 2017. "Controlling shareholders' value, long-run firm value and short-term performance," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 340-353.
    8. Sakawa, Hideaki & Ubukata, Masato & Watanabel, Naoki, 2014. "Market liquidity and bank-dominated corporate governance: Evidence from Japan," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 1-11.
    9. Choi, Yoon K. & Han, Seung Hun, 2013. "Corporate restructuring, financial deregulation, and firm value: Evidence from Japanese “spin-ins”," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 1-13.
    10. Ming Hua Li & Lin Cui & Jiangyong Lu, 2017. "Marketized state ownership and foreign expansion of emerging market multinationals: Leveraging institutional competitive advantages," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 19-46, March.
    11. Bany-Ariffin, A.N. & Mat Nor, Fauzias & McGowan Jr., Carl B., 2010. "Pyramidal structure, firm capital structure exploitation and ultimate owners' dominance," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 151-164, June.
    12. Martua Eliakim Tambunan & Hermanto Siregar & Adler Haymans Manurung & Dominicus Savio Priyarsono, 2017. "Related Party Transactions and Firm Value in the Business Groups in the Indonesia Stock Exchange," Journal of Applied Finance & Banking, SCIENPRESS Ltd, vol. 7(3), pages 1-1.
    13. Aggarwal, Raj & Dow, Sandra M., 2012. "Dividends and strength of Japanese business group affiliation," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 214-230.
    14. Margaritis, Dimitris & Psillaki, Maria, 2010. "Capital structure, equity ownership and firm performance," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 621-632, March.
    15. Ushijima, Tatsuo, 2010. "Understanding partial mergers in Japan," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(12), pages 2941-2953, December.
    16. Kwon, Yonghyun & Han, Seung Hun & Lee, Bong-Soo, 2016. "Financial constraints and negative spillovers in business groups: Evidence from Korea," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 84-100.
    17. repec:kap:jbuset:v:143:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10551-015-2717-y is not listed on IDEAS


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:33:y:2009:i:10:p:1817-1828. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.