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

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  • De Veirman, Emmanuel
  • Levin, Andrew T.

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”.

Suggested Citation

  • De Veirman, Emmanuel & Levin, Andrew T., 2012. "When did firms become more different? Time-varying firm-specific volatility in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 578-601.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jjieco:v:26:y:2012:i:4:p:578-601
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jjie.2012.09.001
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    Cited by:

    1. Michael O'Connor Keefe & James Tate & Henk Berkman, 2013. "Is the relationship between investment and conditional cash flow volatility ambiguous, asymmetric or both?," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 53(4), pages 913-947, December.
    2. Emmanuel De Veirman & Andrew Levin, 2018. "Cyclical Changes in Firm Volatility," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 50(2-3), pages 317-349, March.
    3. Robert Faff & Steven Cahan, 2013. "Mickey Mouse and the IDioT principle for assessing research contribution: discussion of ‘Is the relationship between investment and conditional cash flow volatility ambiguous, asymmetric or both?’," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 53(4), pages 949-960, December.
    4. Sourafel Girma & Sandra Lancheros & Alejandro Riaño, 2015. "Global Engagement and Returns Volatility," CESifo Working Paper Series 5650, CESifo.
    5. Young Gak Kim & Hyeog Ug Kwon, 2017. "Aggregate and Firm-level Volatility in the Japanese Economy," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 158-172, June.
    6. Sourafel Girma & Sandra Lancheros & Alejandro Riaño, 2016. "Global Engagement and Returns Volatility," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 78(6), pages 814-833, December.
    7. Keefe, Michael O'Connor & Yaghoubi, Mona, 2016. "The influence of cash flow volatility on capital structure and the use of debt of different maturities," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 18-36.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Firm volatility; Firm health; Zombie lending; Cleansing recessions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy

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