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Employment and wage adjustments at firms under distress in Japan: An analysis based upon a survey

  • Ariga, Kenn
  • Kambayashi, Ryo
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    We use the result from a survey of Japanese firms in manufacturing and service to investigate the choice of wage and employment adjustments when they needed to reduce substantially the total labor cost. Our regression analysis indicates that the large size reduction favors the layoffs of the core employees, whereas the base wage cuts are more likely if the firms do not feel immediate pressures from the external labor market or the strong competition in the product market. We also find some evidence that the concerns over adverse selection or demoralizing effects of wage cuts are real. Firms do try to avoid using base wage cuts if they consider these factors more important.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of the Japanese and International Economies.

    Volume (Year): 24 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 2 (June)
    Pages: 213-235

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jjieco:v:24:y:2010:i:2:p:213-235
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622903

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    1. Kimura, Takeshi & Ueda, Kazuo, 2001. "Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 50-67, March.
    2. Burgess, Simon & Knetter, Michael & Michelacci, Claudio, 2000. "Employment and Output Adjustment in the OECD: A Disaggregate Analysis of the Role of Job Security Provisions," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 67(267), pages 419-35, August.
    3. Hildreth, A-K-G & Ohtake, F, 1997. "Labor Demand and the Structure of Adjustment Costs in Japan," ISER Discussion Paper 0434, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    4. Bertola, Giuseppe & Dabušinskas, Aurelijus & Hoeberichts, Marco & Izquierdo, Mario & Kwapil, Claudia, 2010. "Price, wage and employment response to shocks: evidence from the WDN survey," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2010,02, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
    5. Kenji Azetsu & Mototsugu Fukushige, 2009. "The estimation of asymmetric adjustment costs for the number of workers and working hours - empirical evidence from Japanese industry data," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(10), pages 995-998.
    6. Jonas Agell & Per Lundborg, 2003. "Survey Evidence on Wage Rigidity and Unemployment: Sweden in the 1990s," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(1), pages 15-30, 03.
    7. Kato, Takao, 2001. "The End of Lifetime Employment in Japan?: Evidence from National Surveys and Field Research," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 489-514, December.
    8. Mincer, Jacob & Higuchi, Yoshio, 1988. "Wage structures and labor turnover in the United States and Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 97-133, June.
    9. Fumio OHTAKE, 2008. "Inequality in Japan," Asian Economic Policy Review, Japan Center for Economic Research, vol. 3(1), pages 87-109.
    10. 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.
    11. Takao Kato, 2000. "The Recent Transformation of Participatory Employment Practices in Japan," NBER Working Papers 7965, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Campbell, Carl M, III & Kamlani, Kunal S, 1997. "The Reasons for Wage Rigidity: Evidence from a Survey of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(3), pages 759-89, August.
    13. Kazuo Ogawa, 2003. "Financial Distress and Employment: The Japanese Case in the 90s," NBER Working Papers 9646, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Tachibanaki, Toshiaki, 1987. "Labour market flexibility in Japan in comparison with Europe and the U.S," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 647-678, April.
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