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When did firms become more different? Time-varying firm-specific volatility in Japan

  • De Veirman, Emmanuel
  • Levin, Andrew T.

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

Volume (Year): 26 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 578-601

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jjieco:v:26:y:2012:i:4:p:578-601
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622903

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
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  4. 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.
  5. Alan Ahearne & Naoki Shinada, 2005. "Zombie firms and economic stagnation in Japan," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 2(4), pages 363-381, December.
  6. Emmanuel De Veirman & Andrew T. Levin, 2011. "Cyclical Changes in Firm Volatility," CAMA Working Papers 2011-29, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  7. Gabriel Perez-Quiros & Margaret M. McConnell, 2000. "Output Fluctuations in the United States: What Has Changed since the Early 1980's?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1464-1476, December.
  8. 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.
  9. Stephen Davis & John Haltiwanger & Ron Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2006. "Volatility and Dispersion in Business Growth Rates: Publicly Traded Versus Privately Held Firms," Working Papers 06-17, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  10. Emmanuel De Veirman, 2007. "Which Nonlinearity in the Phillips Curve? The Absence of Accelerating Deflation in Japan," Economics Working Paper Archive 536, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
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  14. 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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  16. Ricardo J. Caballero & Takeo Hoshi & Anil K. Kashyap, 2008. "Zombie Lending and Depressed Restructuring in Japan," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1943-77, December.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
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  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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